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Pence Delays Upcoming Trip to Israel, Egypt Until 2018

Pence Delays Upcoming Trip to Israel, Egypt Until 2018

The trip to Egypt and Israel, due to begin Tuesday, has been pushed back to mid-January, allowing Pence to remain in Washington in case he needs to cast the deciding vote in the Senate over President Donald Trump's tax reforms. The vote has been scheduled for Tuesday, but could be delayed further as some Republican Senators are expected to be a no-show for health and other reasons.

US Vice President Mike Pence trip to the Middle East has been rescheduled at short notice. "The largest tax cut in American history is a landmark accomplishment for President Trump and a relief to millions of hardworking Americans", said Pence's spokesperson, Alyssa Farah, in a statement.

She added that Pence "looks forward to traveling to Egypt and Israel in January".

The schedule shift follows President Donald Trump's December 6 announcement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital that prompted Palestinian officials and leading Muslim and Christian clerics in Egypt to refuse to meet with Pence, forcing him to adjust his schedule.

Pence could potentially break a tie vote in the Senate on the tax bill, but that scenario become more remote on Monday after Sen.




Speaking in Washington in October, Pence said the president had charged him with a mission to the Middle East to bring an end to the persecution of Christians there. He is now expected to travel to the Middle East during the week of January 14, according to senior White House officials. The draft resolution also reiterated the council's view that no country should establish an embassy in Jerusalem and that Jerusalem's status was an issue to be resolved by Israel and the Palestinians, who want eastern Jerusalem to be the capital of a future Palestinian state.

"There will be no meeting with the vice president of America in Palestine", Abbas' diplomatic adviser, Majdi al-Khaldi, said three days ago. In October, Pence's office said the vice president was schedule to make a stop in the occupied West Bank during the visit.

Egypt's Coptic Church cancelled a meeting between Mr Pence and Pope Tawadros II following the Jerusalem announcement.

The vice president had been scheduled to be in Cairo on Wednesday for a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi and was expected to arrive in Israel later Wednesday for a visit to the Western Wall.

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