Visiting Indiana Gov. Mike Pence attended a Christmas dinner hosted by Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas but snubbed Abbas’ presumptive attempt to talk with the governor at a private meeting.
The Indianapolis Star contradicted reports that Pence, a possible candidate for the GOP nomination as presidential candidate in the 2016 elections, did not attend the dinner with Abbas.
Pence, a devout Christian, is on a nine-day visit to Israel sponsored by the Christians United for Israel group.
Abbas holds an annual Christmas dinner for dignitaries, and Pence attended but then refused an invitation from Abbas for a private meeting after the event.
Pence spokeswoman Kara Brooks told the Indiana newspaper, “The governor is in Israel to strengthen economic ties between Indiana and Israel, to support Israel and to enjoy Christmas with his family. He declined to meet with President Abbas because that was not the purpose of the trip.”
Pence did meet with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu this week and issued a statement that “our industries are finding their stride in the innovation sectors of life sciences, technology and advanced manufacturing, while our educational institutions share bonds in thought.”
Obviously, Pence did not see much use, politically or economically, in meeting with Abbas.