US Vice President postpones trip to Middle East until January

19 December, 2017, 03:41 | Author: Essie Rivera
  • Vice President Mike Pence

"This is all about the largest tax cut in American history and having the vice president and the full team here", the official said.

"The tax vote is still in very good shape, but we don't want to take any chances", a White House official said, adding there were "several difference scenarios" in which Pence might be needed.

Over the past few days, especially since US President Donald Trump's declaration regarding the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, rocket fire from Gaza has worsened.

Pence was scheduled to leave Tuesday, arriving in Egypt on Wednesday for a bilateral meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fatah el-Sissi. An assessment is growing within the Israeli security establishment that Palestinian terrorist organizations will attempt to further escalate this rocket fire during US Vice President Mike Pence's scheduled visit to Israel this week. Pence is delaying his travels because his vote could be crucial in the Senate's upcoming vote on a tax overhaul bill. That plan was disrupted by the uproar over the Jerusalem decision.

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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a United Nations Security Council resolution that called for the USA declaration of Jerusalem as Israel's capital to be withdrawn.

But ever since Trump's December 6 announcement about Jerusalem, America's role in the region has come under fire, and nowhere more so than in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

"There will be no meeting with the vice president of America in Palestine", Abbas' diplomatic adviser Majdi al-Khaldi said on Saturday. Last week, Israeli media reported that the custodian of one of the holiest sites in Christianity had refused to welcome Mr Pence to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. Abbas' diplomatic adviser, Majdi Khaldi, said Abbas would not meet with Pence "because the USA has crossed red lines" with its decision on Jerusalem. While they have not yet rescheduled his meetings, officials said that they hope the vice president will be able to keep all of his original appointments and perhaps visit additional countries in the region.

The House of Representatives was due to vote first at around 1:30 p.m. (1830 GMT) on Tuesday, according to Republican aides, while the Senate vote is expected to follow either later on Tuesday or on Wednesday.

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