Vice President Mike Pence responded to the recent snub by Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, who was upset over the decision to move the United States embassy to Jerusalem, officially recognizing it as the capital city of Israel.
Pence called the decision “unfortunate,” but said that the United States is still dedicated to achieve peace between Israel and Palestine, which have fought bitterly for decades.
Both nations claim the land of Jerusalem as their capital city, and with the recent decision, the two countries should work to put their squabble in the past and move forward toward peace.
From Fox News
Vice President Mike Pence’s office said Sunday it was “unfortunate” that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas canceled plans to meet with Pence in the West Bank this month because President Trump announced the U.S. would recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
“The President has asked Vice President Pence to go to the region to reaffirm our commitment to work with partners throughout the Middle East to defeat radicalism that threatens the hopes and dreams of future generations. The Vice President very much looks forward to traveling to the region to meet with [Israeli] Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu and [Egyptian] President [Abdel Fattah] el-Sisi,” Pence’s press secretary Alyssa Farah told Fox News.
“It’s unfortunate that the Palestinian Authority is walking away again from an opportunity to discuss the future of the region, but the Administration remains undeterred in its efforts to help achieve peace between Israelis and Palestinians and our peace team remains hard at work putting together a plan.”
Abbas’ diplomatic adviser, Majdi Khaldi, said Saturday that Abbas wouldn’t meet Pence “because the U.S. has crossed red lines” on Jerusalem.
President Trump also said last week the U.S. Embassy would ultimately move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Israel says it won’t relinquish any part of the city, while the Palestinians have said they want the Israeli-annexed eastern sector as their future capital.
Abbas had viewed close ties with Washington as strategically important because of the U.S. role as Mideast broker. The snub of Pence signaled a sharp deterioration in relations.