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US Mideast envoy meets Israeli official before VP visit

21 January, 2018, 00:33 | Author: Kristen Ingram
  • Pence leaving for Middle East Friday regardless of shutdown

In the hours leading up to his worldwide departure, Pence had been having conversations with members of Congress to avoid a shutdown, one source tells CNN.

US President Donald Trump holds up a signed memorandum after he delivered a statement on Jerusalem from the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House in Washington, DC on December 6, 2017 as US Vice President Mike Pence looks on.

The White House says Pence will continue his trip to Egypt, Jordan and Israel despite the lapse in federal funding, because it is "integral" to US national security and diplomacy.

The leader of Israel's Joint List Arab-Jewish party said Saturday that his party will boycott U.S. Vice President Mike Pence's visit to Israel scheduled to start on Sunday. The vice president is expecting to be be faced with many questions about the decision, particularly while visiting Egypt and Jordan, both of whose leaders have been critical of Trump's decision.

In Israel, his last and longest stop, Pence is to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The vice president first will meet in Cairo with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the strongman Trump called "my friend" during an Oval Office meeting in April.

Pence took off Friday night on a trip that will take him to Egypt, Jordan and Israel.

In his speech to the Knesset, as well as in his discussions with Israeli leaders, Pence is expected to speak at length about Iran and its influence in the region and around the world.

"We discussed Israeli security and Palestinian economic issues", Greenblatt tweeted shortly after the meeting.

The Arab lawmaker said after Trump's December 6 declaration that the U.S. "has lost its place as the exclusive mediator of negotiations." echoing Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who has struck out strongly at the Trump administration since the announcement on Jerusalem.



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