USA vice president postpones visit, but envoy still coming

USA vice president postpones visit, but envoy still coming

Pence was originally scheduled to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on the trip, but a Palestinian Authority official said last week that "they are no longer coordinating with them [the U.S.] on this visit", noting that they were unaware of the delay.

"The largest tax cut in American history is a landmark accomplishment for President Trump and a relief to millions of hardworking Americans", said Pence's press secretary Alyssa Farah. Therefore, to get the most out of the trip, the Vice President will now be traveling in mid-January.

The White House announced Monday that Vice President Mike Pence is delaying a planned trip to the Middle East in case his vote is needed to pass tax legislation - a move that also comes amid uproar over the Trump administration's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The draft resolution also reiterated the council's view that no country should establish an embassy in Jerusalem and that Jerusalem's status was an issue to be resolved by Israel and the Palestinians, who want eastern Jerusalem to be the capital of a future Palestinian state.

The change of plans comes days after Palestinian officials cancelled their meeting with Pence in the West Bank following Trump's decision last week to move the United States embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.

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Egypt's Coptic Church cancelled a meeting between Mr Pence and Pope Tawadros II following the Jerusalem announcement.

Jibril Rajoub, a senior politician of Abbas' Fatah party, said "we will not receive him [Pence] in the Palestinian territories". This was the Trump administration's first Security Council veto, and all 14 other members supported the resolution, underscoring the USA isolation on the issue.

According to Reuters news agency, White House officials said that the decision to delay Pence's trip was not related to the criticism over Trump's decision on Jerusalem.

The draft resolution was backed on Monday by the 14 other Security Council members, including many USA allies. Due to the thin majority of the Republicans in the Senate, Mike Pence might need to vote for the tax cuts and reform proposals if there is a deadlock.

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