U.S. Vice President Mike Pence arrived in Jordan Saturday afternoon after arriving earlier in the day in Egypt for several hours of talks in Cairo with President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi at the start of his four-day visit to the region that includes Jerusalem and Amman.
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Productive discussion with Egyptian President <a href=”https://twitter.com/AlsisiOfficial?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@AlsisiOfficial</a> on a range of issues. We are united not just in commerce and in prosperity, but most importantly in a commitment to security. We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Egypt in the fight against terrorism. <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/VPinEgypt?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#VPinEgypt</a> <a href=”https://t.co/ivbvXeaJD4″>pic.twitter.com/ivbvXeaJD4</a></p>— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) <a href=”https://twitter.com/VP/status/954807082615824384?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>January 20, 2018</a></blockquote>
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“We stand shoulder to shoulder with you in Egypt in the fight against terrorism,” Pence said in a brief statement before the media at the Presidential Palace.
The Egyptian president said the two men discussed ways to eliminate the “disease and cancer” of terrorism. He called U.S. President Donald Trump, who had sent a message of thanks to El-Sisi for implementing economic reforms, a “friend.”
The vice-presidential arrival in Cairo was the highest-level visit to Egypt from a U.S. official in nearly a decade.
Pence is expected to discuss ways to address global terror in the region, ways to target the attempts of the Islamic State terrorist organization to increase its presence in northern Sinai, the growing Iranian presence, and the Israeli-Palestinian Authority situation, among other issues.
By mid-afternoon Pence was already on his way to Amman, where he was on schedule for talks with King Abdullah II and other members of the Hashemite monarchy.
The stop was added to the itinerary at the last minute. Jordan is deeply involved in dealing with – and at times inciting – the Palestinian Authority violence against Israel.
As the official Custodian of the site known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary – known to Jews as the Temple Mount – location of the Dome of the Rock and the Al Aqsa Mosque, King Abdullah is also uniquely positioned to either make or break Palestinian Authority peace with Israel.
Pence is scheduled for talks in Jordan until Sunday, when he is expected to arrive in Israel by evening.
The vice president is set to speak before Israel’s Knesset on Monday, and will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin. He’ll also visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Western Wall before leaving to return to the United States on Tuesday afternoon.
There are no meetings scheduled on the vice president’s itinerary for talks with any officials from the Palestinian Authority, nor will he travel to Bethlehem or anywhere else in Palestinian Authority territory. PA officials have made it abundantly, rudely clear that Pence is “not welcome” in PA territory.