U.S. VP to kick off postponed Middle East trip amid tensions

Source: Xinhua| 2018-01-09 05:20:51|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. Vice President Mike Pence will head to Egypt, Jordan and Israel later this month, a tour first scheduled last month after President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, the White House said on Monday.

During the trip, which is slated from Jan. 19-23, Pence will meet with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Jordan's King Abdullah and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to a statement released by the White House.

Combating terrorism and improving the U.S. national security were among the key topics of the visit, said the statement.

During his stay in Jerusalem, Pence will give a speech at the Israeli parliament.

Pence's visit came amid escalating tensions in the region since Trump's controversial Jerusalem decision, which has led to deadly uproar and protest.

Pence is no longer scheduled to visit the West Bank or meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who canceled that meeting in protest over Trump's decision.

Pence postponed a planned visit in the Middle East in December for a vote on Trump's tax overhaul plan in U.S. Congress.