United States vice president delays Mideast visit amid anger over Jerusalem shift

United States vice president delays Mideast visit amid anger over Jerusalem shift

Sub: The Israeli security establishment is preparing for escalated violence during US Vice President Mike Pence's scheduled visit to Israel this week.

"The largest tax cut in American history is a landmark accomplishment for President Trump and a relief to millions of hardworking Americans", Pence's press secretary Alyssa Farah said.

Pence is now expected to leave for Egypt, Israel and potentially additional countries in the region the week of January 14, senior White House officials said, though the revised trip is still being planned.

U.S. President Donald Trump's December 6 announcement in which he overturned long-standing U.S. policy on Jerusalem and said he was recognizing it 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a United Nations Security Council resolution that called for the USA declaration of Jerusalem as Israel's capital to be withdrawn.

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 US policy and recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Mr. Trump said that he had made a decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital to keep a campaign promise, noting that several of his predecessors had vowed to do so, but never did.

Palestinian officials have pressured local church leaders to reject Pence's visit and follow the example of the Egyptian Coptic Church whose pope has refused to meet the United States vice president due to the decision.

The change of plans comes days after Palestinian officials cancelled their meeting with Pence in the West Bank following Trump's decision last week to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas canceled his scheduled meeting with Pence in the wake of the Jerusalem announcement, as did the top Muslim and Coptic Christian leaders in Egypt. The administration also announced plans to eventually move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Abbas' diplomatic adviser, Majdi Khaldi, said Abbas would not meet with Pence "because the US has crossed red lines" with its decision on Jerusalem.

On Thursday, White House announced that Pence would delay his trip by three days and shorten his itinerary.

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