Pence arrives in Israel as Trump’s Jerusalem move reverberates

by
January 22, 2018

US Vice President Mike Pence arrived in Israel on Sunday for a visit that will see him warmly welcomed by Israeli leaders but snubbed by the Palestinians, deeply angered by the White House’s Jerusalem policy.

The visit, initially scheduled for December before being postponed, is the final leg of a trip that has included talks in Egypt and Jordan as well as a stop at a US military facility near the Syrian border.

Controversy back home over a budget dispute that has led to a US government shutdown has trailed Pence, and he sought to blame Democrats for the impasse during a speech to troops at the military facility on Sunday.

Arab outrage over President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on December 6 had prompted the cancellation of several planned meetings ahead of Pence’s tour.

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas is refusing to meet Pence because of the declaration, making his visit a rare one by a high-ranking US official not to include talks with the Palestinians.

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