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Pence delays Mideast visit amid anger over Jerusalem shift

Pence delays Mideast visit amid anger over Jerusalem shift”

In October, Vice President Mike Pence, a forthright Evangelical Christian, expressed his intention to show solidarity with the Middle East's persecuted Christians before Christmas.

"The largest tax cut in American history is a landmark accomplishment for President [Donald] Trump and a relief to millions of hardworking Americans", Alyssa Farah, a spokeswoman for Pence's office said in a statement. "The Vice President looks forward to traveling to Egypt and Israel in January".

The delay comes at a time the USA is facing widespread backlash over Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and begin the process of moving the country's embassy from Tel Aviv to the city.

The itinerary had already seen several cancellations following Washington's decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital, but the White House attributed the rescheduling for domestic reasons.

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

The decision sparked protests throughout the Middle East, Asia and elsewhere.

A senior White House official said on Wednesday that Abbas' comments on the Trump administration's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital is the kind of rhetoric "that has prevented peace for decades".

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.

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"There will be no meeting with the vice president of America in Palestine", Abbas' diplomatic adviser Majdi al-Khaldi said on Saturday.

The change of plans comes days after Palestinian officials cancelled their meeting with Pence in the West Bank following Trump's decision last week to move the United States embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.

The vice president had been scheduled to be in Cairo on Wednesday for a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi and was expected to arrive in Israel later Wednesday for a visit to the Western Wall.

Nikki Haley: Trump's decision on Jerusalem advances peace
In October, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said all of Trump's accusers - more than a dozen women - are lying . Moore has repeatedly denied the allegations. "They should be heard and they should be dealt with".

Egypt's Coptic Church cancelled a meeting between Mr Pence and Pope Tawadros II following the Jerusalem announcement.

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