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Pence Asks Egypt and Jordan to Reach Out to Palestinians
February 21 2018, 05:31 | Irvin Gilbert
Preparing for US VP Mike Pence's visit Israel Police
Pence reaffirmed President Donald Trump's decision to name Jerusalem the capital of Israel and move the USA embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, while adding the United States is committed to achieving peace between the two sides. Such a caveat deviates from long-standing US support for that approach as the only possible outcome of any peace deal.
The report comes as Israeli Hebrew-language Haaretz newspaper said the Israeli ministry for military affairs had confirmed the army was studying a plan to assume responsibility for the situation in the Shuafat refugee camp and the Kafr Aqab district in East Jerusalem al-Quds.
Former ambassador Shoval said it's possible that there could be a policy announcement while the Vice President is in Israel, but more than likely, the trip is to reaffirm the US commitments to Israel.
The spiritual leaders of Egypt's Muslims and Orthodox Christians also canceled their meetings with Pence.
"For us, Jerusalem is key to Muslims and Christians, as it is to Jews". Any perceived threat to Muslim claims in the city is seen as a challenge to Jordan, where a large segment of the population is of Palestinian origin.
Another cause of concern for Jordan is the Trump administration's decision to move the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. It was a message Pence relayed Saturday in talks with Egypt's president.
"Despite bipartisan support for a budget resolution, a minority in the Senate has made a decision to play politics with military pay", Pence said at the base, speaking in front of a large US flag and a line of soldiers dressed in military fatigues.
Abdullah, a key USA ally, said he had "continuously voiced over the past year... my concerns regarding the United States decision on Jerusalem that does not come as a result of a comprehensive settlement to the Palestinian Israeli conflict".
"We will all be there and share the great honor that he deserves", he said.
"The Palestinian Authority has been absent from direct negotiations since 2014".
In comments delivered in Egypt, he said Washington would support a two-state solution for Israelis and Palestinians if the two sides agreed to it. Jordan vehemently opposes such a move if taken ahead of an Israeli-Palestinian partition deal. "Several hundred extra police are taking part, with the majority of security arrangements and emphasis in Jerusalem", Micky Rosenfeld, Israel's national police spokesman told The Media Line. Negotiations between United States and Egyptian officials followed, and members of the media were eventually were brought into the meeting and heard the leaders deliver short statements. "Those are subject to negotiation", he said.
In remarks during talks with Pence in Amman, the king said the only solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was a two-state one. There, Abbas is expected to urge European Union member states to recognize a state of Palestine in the pre-1967 lines, and to step up involvement in mediation.
The vice president will fly to Israel Sunday evening where he will address the Knesset - Israel's parliament - and meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.