U.S. vice president postpones visit, but envoy still coming

Posted December 21, 2017

Then Trump announced on December 6 that his administration had chose to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, breaking with decades of US policy and drawing sharp criticism from allies and adversaries.

Republicans are confident they will pass the tax overhaul, but Pence will be around in case he needs to break a tie in the Senate.

The US Vice President Mike Pence's visit to Israel and Egypt has been postponed, with a White House senior official explaining that the move was connected with the forthcoming tax vote in the US Senate, as quoted by PressTV media outlet.

The decision sparked protests throughout the Middle East, Asia and elsewhere.

Pence's Middle East visit was shaping up to be a victory lap after President Donald Trump officially announced a couple weeks ago that he recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

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"The largest tax cut in American history is a landmark accomplishment for President Trump and a relief to millions of hardworking Americans.the Vice President is committed to seeing the tax cut through to the finish line".

Trump's decision countered an global consensus that Jerusalem's status should be decided in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, who claim east Jerusalem as the capital of their future state. Therefore, to get the most out of the trip, the Vice President will now be traveling in mid-January. In October, Pence's office said the vice president was schedule to make a stop in the occupied West Bank during the visit.

Palestinian officials have pressured local church leaders to reject Pence's visit and follow the example of the Egyptian Coptic Church whose pope has refused to meet the United States vice president due to the decision.

Aside from the protests, Palestinian, Muslim and Coptic leaders had cancelled meetings with the vice president, who had already trimmed the trip by three days.

Following the cancellation of the visit to the center of Egypt's Christian faith, the vice president's press secretary, Alyssa Farah, has dropped any mention of faith outreach, referring only to meetings with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.