Photo Credit: Office of the Vice President
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence is set to travel to the Middle East towards the end of next week, his press secretary announced Monday morning in a statement. Pence will visit Israel on January 22-23.

Pence’s trip, from January 19-23, begins with his first stop in Cairo on January 20 to meet with President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.

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The vice president then travels to Jordan to meet with King Abdullah II on January 21 – a last-minute addition to the itinerary – and then plans to spend January 22-23 in Israel.

“At President Trump’s direction, the Vice President is traveling to the Middle East to reaffirm our commitment to work with the U.S.’s allies in the region to defeat radicalism that threatens future generations,” the vice president’s press secretary Alyssa Farah said.

“The Vice President is looking forward to meeting with the leaders of Egypt, Jordan, and Israel to discuss ways to work together to fight terrorism and improve our national security.”

Pence will meet with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin, and address Israel’s Knesset. The vice president also plans to visit the Western Wall and the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial during his stay.

The vice president originally was scheduled to arrive in Israel on the sixth night on Chanukah, but the trip was postponed due to an important vote taking place in the Congress.

At the time, Palestinian Authority leaders were whipping up Arab sentiment – and overt violence – in Jerusalem as well as in Judea and Samaria, over the recognition of the holy city as the capital of the State of Israel.

An earlier-scheduled meeting with Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas and other officials was summarily cancelled and American diplomats were bluntly told the vice president would not be welcome in Ramallah, Bethlehem or anywhere else in the Palestinian Authority.

White House aides denied the postponement had anything to do with the vicious Arab violence and the rude Palestinian Authority attitude , however.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.
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