Pence: Unveiling of Trump's Mideast Peace Plan Depends on Palestinians

Speaking from Israel, U.S. vice president says he asked leaders of Jordan and Egypt to convey to the Palestinians that America's door is open to peace talks

Reuters
Reuters
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence shakes hands with President Reuven Rivlin during a formal reception ceremony at the President's residence in Jerusalem, January 23, 2018.
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence shakes hands with President Reuven Rivlin during a formal reception ceremony at the President's residence in Jerusalem, January 23, 2018.Credit: Ronen Zvulun/AP
Reuters
Reuters

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said on Tuesday that the timetable for presenting a U.S. plan on Middle East peace depends on when the Palestinians would return to negotiations.

"The White House has been working with our partners in the region to see if we can develop a framework for peace," Pence told Reuters in an interview in Jerusalem on the last leg of his Middle East trip.

>> Preacher Pence's speech to Israel's Knesset had everything but fire and brimstone | Analysis >>

"I think it all just depends now on when the Palestinians are going to come back to the table," Pence said.

The U.S. vice president added that, while visiting Jordan and Egypt, he asked the two countries' leaders to convey to the Palestinians that America's door is open to peace talks.

Earlier on Tuesday, Pence met with President Reuven Rivlin and said U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital is the clearest sign of America's commitment to Israel.

At a press conference before their meeting at the President's Residence in Jerusalem, the vice president said: "We believe the bond between us has never been stronger, but under President Trump's leadership, we are committed to making it stronger still."

While Pence addressed the Knesset in Jerusalem on Monday, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called on the European Union to recognize a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders.

Speaking during a joint press conference on Monday with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini in Brussels, Abbas said that recognizing Palestine will not be a barrier to peace and that "the only way to achieve peace with Israel is through internationally led negotiations."

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