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December 18, 2017 9:26 am

Pence to Make First Official US Visit to Western Wall

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US Vice President Mike Pence. Photo: Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons. – During his upcoming visit to Israel this week, Vice President Mike Pence is expected to visit Jerusalem’s Western Wall in the first official visit to the holy site by an American leader.

President Donald Trump stopped at the Western Wall in May, but it was a private visit made without the accompaniment of an Israeli official.

The vice president’s visit comes after Trump earlier this month recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and pledged to relocate the US embassy from Tel Aviv to the city. Further, a senior White House official said last week that the US expects the Western Wall to be part of Israel in any future peace deal with the Palestinians.

Pence is slated to arrive in the Jewish state by Dec. 20. During his visit to the region, he will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other senior Israeli officials in Jerusalem. He will also meet with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi in Cairo.

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The vice president will reportedly address the Knesset, in what will be the first such address to the Israeli legislature by a senior US official since a speech by President George W. Bush in 2008.

Pence had planned to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, but Abbas cancelled the meeting following Trump’s policy changes on Jerusalem.

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