After US Vice President Mike Pence’s trip to the Middle East was postponed indefinitely, the White House announced that Pence’s visit to Israel, Jordan and Egypt will take place later this month. The visit was postponed in December due to the Senate tax vote.

Mike Pence

Mike Pence Photo Credit: EPA-EFE

The White House officially announced on Monday that Mike Pence’s visit to Israel will take place later this month. Pence will land in Israel as part of his first trip to the Middle East in this official capacity. The trip will also include stops in Egypt and Jordan.

Pence’s trip is now scheduled for January 20-23. It was originally supposed to take place in December. However, it was postponed at the last minute due to the Senate tax reform vote.

When his visit was first announced in October, it was reported that Pence was expected to discuss the possibilities of a regional peace agreement during separate meetings with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. However, after US President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in early December, the Palestinians announced that Pence is no longer welcomed in the West Bank area under the Palestinian Authority’s control. In addition, the PA said that it has decided to cancel Abbas’s meeting with the American vice president, a move that was condemned by Washington.

“It’s unfortunate that the Palestinian Authority is walking away again from an opportunity to discuss the future of the region,” stated Pence spokesman Jarrod Agen. “But, the administration remains undeterred in its efforts to help achieve peace between Israelis and Palestinians and our peace team remains hard at work putting together a plan.”