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Pence to Visit Western Wall Upon Trip to Israel

Pence to Visit Western Wall Upon Trip to Israel

After his Knesset address, Pence will fly to Cairo to meet with Egypt's President Abdel Fattah El-Sissi.

Political sources in Tel Aviv said that the postponement has nothing to do with the Palestinians' boycott of the trip in protest against Washington's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Vice President Mike Pence will not be permitted to visit the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem when he visits the Middle East next month, as a result of the Trump administration's decision to recognize the city as Israel's capitol, according to the man who holds the keys to the building.

When Vice President Mike Pence travels to the Middle East next week, there is one message that the Trump administration wants to convey loud and clear: Egypt continues to be an "incredibly important" partner in the region.

"Yesterday the White House informed Senate leadership that due to the historic nature of the vote in the Senate on tax cuts for millions of Americans, the VP would stay to preside over the vote", Farah said in a written statement. But Republican Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Thad Cochran of MS have missed votes recently because of health issues. Aides to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who has condemned Trump's decision, said earlier this week that he would not meet with the vice president. The vice president does not plan to meet with any Christian groups during the trip or to visit the West Bank city of Bethlehem to visit the Church of the Nativity. The vice president can cast a deciding vote in the case of a tie in the Senate, and Pence has already done so several times this year.

The office of Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein and the Foreign Ministry confirmed the United States vice president's trip - slated to begin Sunday - had been postponed.

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Pence, in an interview on the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), said he was "humbled" by the opportunity to speak to the Knesset.

Trump's announcement last week delighted Israeli leaders but was heavily criticized by many key U.S. 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.

In addition to addressing the Knesset, Pence had been scheduled to light the Hanukkah menorah at the Western Wall, but the three-day delay would mean his visit will no longer coincide with the Jewish holiday. Pence will then continue on to Israel for meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, and give formal remarks at the Knesset.

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