Mike Pence reschedules Middle East visit for January


"The Vice President looks forward to travelling to Egypt and Israel in January" Ms Farah said in a statement.

"The tax vote is still in very good shape, but we don't want to take any chances whatsoever", said a senior administration official. 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.

Trump's decision countered an worldwide 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. The Vice President is committed to seeing the tax cut through to the finish line.

The announcement comes amid outrage over the USA move to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital, though officials say the delay is not due to the Jerusalem decision.

US Vice President Mike Pence has postponed his visit to the Middle East to mid-January, announced the White House on Monday.

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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. That plan was disrupted by the uproar over the Jerusalem decision.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had originally meant to meet with Pence but pulled out of the meeting after denouncing Trump's decision. The two religious leaders also declined to meet with Pence. His trip will be delayed until next month.

"It has come to our attention that vice president Pence intends to make an official visit to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and asked me to receive him officially", Adeeb Jowdeh Al Husseini wrote in a letter, according to Israel's Channel 2. John McCain, R-Ariz., was returning to his home state for cancer treatment, leaving Republicans with only 51 votes for the tax bill.

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. "We'll obviously still go to Egypt and Israel, but we may add additional countries", the official said.