US Vice President postpones Israel visit

Pence delays Israel trip over GOP tax bill

Trump and Republican lawmakers are hoping for a vote early next week on the delivery of a package of steep tax cuts for corporations and more modest cuts for families before Christmas. "They told us it was because of the votes on tax reform in Congress", Edelstein's spokesperson said.

Pence will now leave some time on Tuesday on a trip that will begin with a visit to Cairo for talks with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the official said.

Palestinian officials have also pressured local church leaders to not welcome Pence and follow the example of the Egyptian Coptic Church whose pope announced his refusal to meet with the USA vice president due to the decision.

US Vice President Mike Pence (right) looks on as President Donald Trump signs a proclamation after he delivered a statement on Jerusalem from the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House in Washington, DC on December 6, 2017. Republican Senator John McCain, who is fighting brain cancer, was in hospital on Wednesday.

US Vice President Mike Pence will visit Egypt and Israel next week, despite controversy and meeting cancelations as a result of the administration's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

White House officials said they do not expect to need Pence's vote.

Pence is now scheduled to arrive in Israel on Wednesday.

Pence was originally scheduled to visit the Western Wall on Sunday and partake in Hanukka candle lighting ceremonies there.

His schedule includes an address to the Israeli Knesset on Thursday. On Friday the vice president is expected to meet with President Reuven Rivlin, and visit Yad Vashem, before flying back to Washington.

"A hundred years after the Balfour declaration, Trump offered Jerusalem as a gift to Israel".

Trump's announcement last week delighted Israeli leaders but was heavily criticized by many key USA allies and Palestinian leaders who see East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state.

The White House has said Trump remains committed to the goal of peace and notes he has not taken a position on the boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem or resolution of its contested borders. Kushner and other top Trump aides have traveled to the region to meet with Palestinians, Israelis and officials from Arab nations.



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