US Vice President postpones Mideast trip again
Vice President Mike Pence, who postponed a Middle East trip after Arab leaders denounced the new US policy on Jerusalem, isn’t scheduled to visit Israel in January, either, according to an Israeli official.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said the visit isn’t included in the schedule of high-level dignitaries in January, without elaborating on the reason for the delay. White House and Pence spokespeople didn’t have immediate comment.
The vice president had planned to meet with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in December and deliver a speech to the Israeli Knesset, but the visit was put off until this month.
The official reason given was a critical Senate vote on the tax reform bill, but the postponement followed Arab objections to President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who claims east Jerusalem for the capital of a future state of Palestine, canceled a scheduled meeting with Pence in response to the US move.
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