US Vice President Mike Pence told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday he was “hopeful that we are at the dawn of a new era of renewed discussions to achieve a peaceful resolution to the decades-long conflict that has affected this region.”
The two leaders met at the outset of Pence’s second day in Israel, with Netanyahu telling the American vice president, “I’ve had the privilege over the years of standing here with hundreds of world leaders and welcome them, all of them to Israel’s capital, Jerusalem. This is the first time that I’m standing when both leaders can say those three words, ‘Israel’s capital, Jerusalem.'”
Pence echoed the prime minister’s comments, saying it was a “great honor” and a “privilege” for him to be “in Israel’s capital, Jerusalem.”
It is the highest-level US visit to the region since President Donald Trump on December 6 recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and promised to begin the process of moving the American embassy to the city, angering the Palestinians, who announced they will no longer accept the United States as a mediator in the peace process.
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