Amid regional tension concerning the US’ recognition of Jerusalem, Vice President Mike Pence met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Jordan’s King Abdullah II and is expected to arrive in Israel on Sunday night. Pence told reporters on Saturday that the US is committed to “restarting the peace process” in the region.
Mike Pence Photo Credit: EPA-EFE
US Vice President Mike Pence set out on his Middle Eastern visit, landing in Cairo on Saturday and meeting with Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. After the meeting, the vice president emphasized the US’ commitment to the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. “The United States of America is deeply committed to restarting the peace process in the Middle East,” Pence told reporters.
During his meeting in Egypt, Pence emphasized the US support of the country’s fight against radicalism. “We stand shoulder to shoulder with you in Egypt in the fight against terrorism,” the vice president told al-Sisi on Saturday. Pence also addressed Jerusalem and assured the Egyptian president that the US was committed to “preserving the status quo with regard to holy sites in Jerusalem.”
On Sunday morning, Pence arrived in Jordan to meet with King Abdullah II and was greeted with protests and hostility in Amman. Demonstrators shouted anti-US and anti-Israel slogans amid unrest surrounding recent US policies, such as those concerning Jerusalem and UNRWA.
The vice president is expected to meet with US troops in the area and then is set to arrive in Israel, where he will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial. He is also expected to give an address at the Knesset and meet with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin. Thousands of officers will be deployed along Pence’s expected route, mainly around Ben Gurion Airport and on major highways leading to Jerusalem.