NewsJan 22, 2018 by Alyssa Duvall
During his four-day trip to the Middle East, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi in Egypt and King Abdullah II in Jordan. In a meeting at his palace, King Abdullah II told Pence that the U.S. would have to "rebuild trust" after President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Pence assured the ally nation leaders of U.S. support of a two-state solution as long as both sides agree.
At the meeting, Abdullah said that President Trump’s commitment to bringing a solution to decades of conflict between Israelis and Palestinians was encouraging, but that Jerusalem is key to achieving peace in the region.
“I had continuously voiced over the past year, in my meetings with Washington, my concerns regarding the U.S. decision on Jerusalem that does not come as a result of a comprehensive settlement to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict,” Abdullah said to Pence and his delegation. “Today we have a major challenge to overcome, especially with some of the rising frustrations.”
“Your visit here, I am sure, is to rebuild the trust and confidence,” Abdullah continued.
The Jordanian king added that it is “very important” to move forward with a two-state solution, which would include East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state formed on pre-1967 borders coexisting alongside a “secure and recognized” Israel.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Pence was told in his meeting with the Egyptian president that Trump's decision could potentially complicate peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.
At a later press conference, Pence called the meeting with Al Sisi "a disagreement between friends." According to the Los Angeles Times, he assured Sisi that the Trump administration will back a two-state solution for Israel and the Palestinians if both parties agree. "My perception was that he was encouraged by that message," Pence told reporters.
Pence's trip will end in Israel with a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Pence is slated to address the Israeli legislature and visit the Western Wall. Pence will not meet with any Palestinian leaders, and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas also said he would not meet with Pence during his visit "because the U.S. has crossed red lines" on Jerusalem.
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