Pence further delays trip to Middle East


Pence was to have spent three days in the region with stops in Cairo and Jerusalem, the first high-level official to visit after Trump reversed decades of USA policy and recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Mike Pence, an evangelical Christian, is a strong backer of Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Pence was scheduled to leave Tuesday, arriving in Egypt on Wednesday for a bilateral meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fatah el-Sissi.

"The largest tax cut in American history is a landmark accomplishment for President Trump and a relief to millions of hardworking Americans.the Vice President is committed to seeing the tax cut through to the finish line".

Mr Pence's spokeswoman Alyssa Farah said the trip would happen in January and said they delay was due to the tax vote in the Senate this week.

The chief rabbi of the the Western Wall rejected a request by Vice President Mike Pence to hold a press conference at the holy site during his upcoming trip, The Times of Israel reports. Egypt called for the resolution, which did not name the United States or Trump but expressed "deep regret at certain decisions concerning the status of Jerusalem", and asserted that "Jerusalem is a final status issue to be resolved through negotiations".

Pence further delays trip to Middle East
Pence further delays trip to Middle East

Officials denied that Mr Pence's decision was motivated by a wave of deadly protests in the wake of Trump's deeply controversial decision to declare Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

U.S. has further alienated its allies by vetoing a United Nations Security Council resolution that called for the USA declaration of Jerusalem as Israel's capital to be withdrawn.

Breaking with decades of USA policy, Trump also said on December 6 that he would move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. "We'll obviously still go to Egypt and Israel, but we may add additional countries", the official said.

The House of Representatives was due to vote first at around 1:30 p.m. (1830 GMT) on Tuesday, according to Republican aides, while the Senate vote is expected to follow either later on Tuesday or on Wednesday.

The trip was already in a disarray after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas refused to meet Pence following the Jerusalem announcement on December 6.

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