In Mideast, Pence defends Trump’s shift on Jerusalem



    Mike Pence
    Mike Pence:

    U.S. Vice President Mike Pence is defending President Donald Trump’s transfer to declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel, a choice that has touched off uneasiness amongst Arab nations on his first tour of the area.

    Pence was to satisfy Sunday with Jordan’s King Abdullah II for discussions which might be anticipated to incorporate final month’s shift on Jerusalem and plans to maneuver the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to the fiercely contested holy metropolis.

    The vice chairman mentioned after assembly Saturday with Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi that he emphasised the U.S. dedication to a two-state resolution to the battle between Israel and the Palestinians.

    Pence mentioned he assured el-Sissi the U.S. was dedicated to “preserving the status quo with regard to holy sites in Jerusalem,” and that borders and different points could be negotiated between the events.

    “The United States of America is deeply committed to restarting the peace process in the Middle East,” Pence mentioned earlier than departing for Jordan. He mentioned he could be “delivering that message in Jordan, delivering that message in Israel, as well.”

    El-Sissi mentioned in a press release after the assembly that he affirmed Egypt’s “unyielding position” in assist of the Palestinians’ proper to determine an impartial state with east Jerusalem as its capital. He mentioned the battle might solely be resolved by way of negotiations resulting in a two-state resolution.

    Israel views Jerusalem as its unified capital, whereas the Palestinians demand east Jerusalem, which was captured by Israel within the 1967 Mideast struggle, because the capital of their future state.

    A longstanding worldwide consensus holds that town’s last standing ought to be determined by way of negotiations, which was additionally U.S. coverage going again many years.

    Arab and Muslim nations assist the Palestinians’ declare to east Jerusalem, and the Trump administration’s shift ignited protests throughout the area.

    Ahead of Pence’s arrival, a number of dozen Jordanians gathered outdoors the U.S. Embassy in Amman, protesting towards U.S. insurance policies within the Middle East.

    “America is the head of the snake,” they chanted. Some held up a banner studying: “The envoy of the Zionist American right-wing is not welcome.”

    The Trump administration’s dramatic coverage shift on Jerusalem has posed a dilemma for Jordan’s monarch, a staunch U.S. ally.

    Palestinians make up a big section of Jordan’s inhabitants, and the ruling Hashemite monarchy derives a few of its political legitimacy from its historic position as custodian of Jerusalem’s most important Muslim shrine, the Al-Aqsa mosque, which is Islam’s third holiest website.

    Any perceived threats to Muslim claims to town, similar to Trump’s shift on Jerusalem, undermine its important position there.

    At the identical time, Jordan depends on U.S. army and financial support — $1.5 billion in 2015 and $1.6 billion final yr — at a time of a worsening financial downturn and rising unemployment.

    Pence was additionally anticipated to satisfy with U.S. troops within the area on Sunday after which depart for Israel, the place he’s scheduled to carry conferences with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, ship an deal with to the Knesset and go to the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial.

    Netanyahu has mentioned he’ll quickly resolve on Israel’s new ambassador to Jordan after the 2 nations agreed to maneuver previous a diplomatic row. Israel media reported Netanyahu as saying Israel had expressed regret over a capturing at its Amman embassy final summer season that killed two Jordanians.

    Israel’s ambassador returned to Israel together with the guard concerned within the capturing. The guard claimed self-defense and obtained a hero’s welcome at residence, angering Jordanians.

    The incident has strained relations between the nations, which signed a peace settlement in 1994 and cooperate on safety and different points.


    Source: AP