Mike Pence to Arrive in Israel on January 22 for Flash Visit, White House Says

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U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, January 3, 2018.
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, January 3, 2018.Credit: Susan Walsh/AP

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence will depart for the Middle East on January 19 and will arrive in Israel on January 22 for a 48-hour visit, the Vice President's Office said on Monday. The Israeli Foreign Ministry said the dates have not yet been determined.

Pence will depart for Egypt on January 19, when he will meet with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, according to the White House. He will depart for Jordan on January 21, where he will meet with Jordanian King Abdullah.

Pence will arrive in Israel on January 22 for a flash visit. During his visit, he will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin, visit the Western Wall and address the Knesset. 

"The vice president is traveling to the Middle East to reaffirm our commitment to work with the United States' allies in the region to defeat radicalism that threatens future generations," said Alyssa Farah, Press Secretary for the Vice President. "The vice president is looking forward to meeting with the leaders of Egypt, Jordan and Israel to discuss ways to work together to fight terrorism and improve our national security."

Netanyahu is slated to return from his trip to India on January 19.

The White House briefed reporters last month that the visit would take place on the week of January 14th, but a list of foreign senior officials due to visit Israel this month distributed by the Israeli Foreign Ministry did not include Pence's name. Israeli officials told Haaretz no specific date has been set for the vice president's visit, though Pence's office denied the trip's delay hours after the Israeli list was issued.

Pence was rebuffed by a number of groups leading up to his originally planned visit in December as a result of the Palestinians' rage over U.S. President Donald Trump's historic announcement in early December recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Palestinian officials pressured local church leaders not to welcome Pence ahead of his intended visit, encouraging them to take the same stance as the Egyptian Coptic Christian church whose pope announced his refusal to meet with the U.S. vice president due to the Jerusalem decision.

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