The visit of US Vice President Mike Pence to Israel is still planned during this month, his office said, despite contradicting media statements by Israeli officials.
Pence’s office announced on Monday that the vice president still plans to visit Israel in January, a visit that was originally scheduled to take place on 17 December, but had been postponed to mid-January.
This statement came when Israel’s Foreign Ministry said Monday that the visit was no longer on its schedule for January. The ministry did not provide a reason for the apparent delay, but said it is still possible that Pence could decide to come at any time, but suggesting that this would not happen this month.
Pence’s planned trip to Israel and Egypt was previously postponed after US President Donald’s Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and his administration’s plans to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to the disputed city, a decision Pence had been in favour of.
However, the postponement was believed to be because Pence might have been needed to cast the deciding vote on the US tax overhaul bill in the closely divided Senate.
Pence was expected to visit Egypt to meet President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi to discuss terrorism, the current situation in the region, economic relations, investments, and military aid.
After Trump’s decision, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed Al-Tayeb and the leader of the Coptic community, Pope Tawadros II, both cancelled their scheduled meetings with the vice president.