Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

Vice Pres. Pence's Mideast trip still on as government shutdown looms

Palestinian Authority President to call EU to officially recognize Palestinian state Vice Pres. Pence's Mideast trip still on as government shutdown looms
Charlie Simmons | 21 January, 2018, 00:53

Odeh also said his 13-seat party in the 120-seat parliament will boycott Pence's scheduled address to the parliament on Monday.

US Vice President Mike Pence met Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi on Saturday as he began a delayed Middle East tour overshadowed by Arab anger over Washington's recognition of occupied Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Pence "harbors a messianic vision entailing the ruination of the entire region", Odeh said on his twitter account.

Odeh also attacked Trump, saying he was "even more dangerous" than Pence and a "political pyromaniac" and a "racist" woman-hater.

Alyssa Farah, a Pence spokeswoman, said the vice president's trip to Egypt, Jordan and Israel was "integral to America's national security and diplomatic objectives".

Last December, Trump declared Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, which received global criticism and sparked renewed violent clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, killing so far at least 13 Palestinians and an Israeli.

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The Palestinians have frozen contacts with the Trump administration and have said Pence would not meet any Palestinian leaders.

Senior White House officials stressed the importance of the program to the vice president and added that Pence will raise the issue at each stop.

The Palestinians claim East Jerusalem, which Israel captured from Jordan in the 1967 Six Day War, as the capital of its future state.

In addition to being boycotted by Arab MKs, Pence is also being shunned by the PA and will not travel to Ramallah or meet with Palestinian leaders.

Another source of tension is the U.S. decision this week to freeze tens of millions of dollars meant for the United Nations relief agency for Palestinians (UNRWA).

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