US VP Mike Pence once again delays Middle East visit
- Author: Ryan Wade Dec 21, 2017,
Dec 21, 2017, 0:58
"The Vice President looks forward to traveling to Egypt and Israel in January".
"The tax vote is still in very good shape, but we don't want to take any chances whatsoever", the official said.
Officials denied that Pence's decision was motivated by a wave of deadly protests in the wake of Trump's controversial decision to declare Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
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Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said that the resolution reflects the worldwide community's rejection to U.S. Currently, Palestine is a "non-member observer state", meaning that it has the right to speak but not vote on resolutions.
"The vice president is committed to seeing the tax cut through to the finish line", she added.
According to Reuters news agency, White House officials said that the decision to delay Pence's trip was not related to the criticism over Trump's decision on Jerusalem.
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 USA matters.
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ISIS threatened war on US soil in response to the decision, and a group of Muslim leaders in 57 countries denounced Trump's move. Jerusalem is sacred to Christians, Jews and Muslims and is a contentious part of Israel-Palestinian negotiations.
Trump said he had made a decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital to keep a campaign promise, noting that several of his predecessors had vowed to do so, but never did. The administration also announced plans to eventually move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Aside from the protests, Palestinian, Muslim and Coptic leaders had cancelled meetings with the vice president, who had already trimmed the trip by three days. The two religious leaders also declined to meet with Pence. Abbas had originally planned to host Pence, a devout Christian, in the biblical West Bank town of Bethlehem.
Sissi agreed to still meet with Pence, although his decision to do so was deeply unpopular in Egypt.
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The US Vice President Mike Pence's visit to Israel and Egypt has been postponed, with a White House senior official explaining that the move was connected with the forthcoming tax vote in the US Senate, as quoted by PressTV media outlet. The vice president wanted to make sure that he was in place to break a tie if it were necessary, the official said. John McCain, R-Ariz., was returning to his home state for cancer treatment, leaving Republicans with only 51 votes for the tax bill. While they have not yet rescheduled his meetings, officials said that they hope the vice president will be able to keep all of his original appointments and perhaps visit additional countries in the region.