Published: Tue, January 09, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

US Vice President Mike Pence to travel to Middle East next week

US Vice President Mike Pence to travel to Middle East next week

Pence will cap off his trip with two days in Israel, meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin.

The White House officially announced on Monday that Mike Pence's visit to Israel will take place later this month.

During the trip, which is slated from January 19-23, Pence will meet with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Jordan's King Abdullah and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to a statement released by the White House.

Pence's visit came amid escalating tensions in the region since Trump's controversial Jerusalem decision, which has led to deadly uproar and protest. The vice president also plans to visit the Western Wall and the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial during his stay.

"The vice president is traveling to the Middle East to reaffirm our commitment to work with the United States' allies in the region to defeat radicalism that threatens future generations", said Alyssa Farah, press secretary for the vice president.

Palestinian officials cancelled their meeting with Pence in the West Bank following President Donald Trump's decision last week to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.

Many U.S. allies disagreed with Trump's decision, as no other country has its embassy in Jerusalem, under a long-standing worldwide consensus that the city's status should be decided in a peace deal between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

His trip was originally focused on Christians and other religious minorities and was planned for late December.

Pence's trip is now scheduled for January 20-23.

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