Vice president to travel from Jordan to Israel Sunday; Pence scheduled to meet with Netanyahu and Rivlin, as well as speak before Knesset and visit to Kotel and Yad Vashem; PA bans communication with Pence.
United States Vice President Mike Pence will arrive in Israel Sunday as part of his Middle East Tour.
Pence began his Middle East tour in Egypt, meeting with President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi in Cairo on Saturday, their meeting centered on bilateral ties, regional developments and combatting terrorism, Pence affirming that the United States “stand shoulder to shoulder with you in Egypt in the fight against terrorism.”
Following his time in Egypt, Pence traveled to Jordan to meet with King Abdullah in Amman.
The vice president is expected to arrive in Israel on Sunday night for three days. He will meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu on Monday, followed by a speech before Israel’s parliament, the Knesset. Pence is scheduled to then visit Yad VaShem, Israel’s national Holocaust museum, followed by visiting the Kotel (Western Wall).
Pence will meet with Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin before returning to the United States.
The Palestinian Authority refuses to meet with Pence following President Trump’s recognition of Israel. PA President Mahmoud Abbas has banned Palestinian officials from communication with the Trump Administration as they are “no longer a mediator in the peace process”.
The Palestinians continue their efforts at international organizations, mainly the UN, in delegitimizing the State of Israel while gaining support from the global community for statehood. The Palestinians refuse to negotiate on Jerusalem, call for the return to 1967 borders and halt of all settlement growth. The Palestinian Authority is also searching for a new mediator for the peace process, holding meetings with Russian and Chinese parties in the past month.
Photo: VP Pence, Wikimedia Commons, 2017