palestine

US Vice-President Pence 'not welcome in Palestine'

Senior Fatah official says leader Abbas would not meet with Vice-President on upcoming trip

AFP
07:57 December 8, 2017
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence alongside President Donald Trump.

Ramallah: A senior Palestinian official said Thursday that US Vice President Mike Pence was “not welcome in Palestine” during his upcoming regional visit after a White House decision to recognise occupied Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

“The American vice president is not welcome in Palestine,” said Jibril Rajoub, a senior member of Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah.

Rajoub also signalled that Abbas would not meet with Pence during his planned visit later in December.

“And President Abbas will not welcome him because of the statements he made” about occupied Jerusalem.

Abbas has not made similar comments and his office could not immediately be reached.

The White House warned Thursday that cancelling a planned meeting between Abbas and Pence in the wake of the US policy shift on occupied Jerusalem would be “counterproductive”.

US President Donald Trump recognised occupied Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on Wednesday in a move that outraged Palestinian leaders, but which was hailed as historic by Israel.

The move was fully supported by Pence.

Abbas said Trump has disqualified the United States from its traditional role as peace broker in the Middle East conflict.

Pence is expected to visit Israel and the Palestinian territories sometime before Christmas.