Pence Israel Visit Postponed Yet Again

by Antonio Miles December 21, 2017, 1:00
Pence Israel Visit Postponed Yet Again

Senior White House officials said the uncertainty of the timing of the Senate vote could have pushed back Pence's schedule in Egypt and Israel, and the vice president felt it was important to be in the Senate in case he was needed to break a tie vote. The visit, which was expected to take place amid the tensions surrounding Jerusalem's status, has been rescheduled for mid-January.

The official claimed that Pence, who was facing strong calls for boycott during his visit to Egypt and Israel and who has been shunned by the Palestinians, has deferred his visit to January because of internal U.S. matters.

However, after a Palestinian decision not to meet with US officials following the US President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital on December 6, the visit to Bethlehem was cancelled before the entire visit was postponed.

The fallout continued Monday as the United States was forced to veto a draft UN resolution rejecting Trump's Jerusalem move, after all 14 other Security Council members - including allies like Britain - voted for the measure.

"This is all about the largest tax cut in American history and having the vice president and the full team here", the official said.

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Following the cancellation of the visit to the center of Egypt's Christian faith, the vice president's press secretary, Alyssa Farah, has dropped any mention of faith outreach, referring only to meetings with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. In October, Pence's office said the vice president was schedule to make a stop in the occupied West Bank during the visit.

Trump's decision countered an worldwide consensus that Jerusalem's status should be decided in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, who claim east Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.

But White House officials said any delay in the tax vote might have prevented the vice president from departing Washington on time and complicated a tightly-orchestrated set of meetings in Egypt and Israel.

"Now were are going to look at January and the trip may even be a little bigger".

The leader of Egypt's Coptic Church had already cancelled his meeting with Pence to protest the USA move.


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