US Vice President Mike Pence.
(photo credit: JOSHUA ROBERTS / REUTERS)
JERUSALEM — A planned trip to Israel by US Vice President Mike Pence will not take place in January and has been indefinitely postponed.
A visit to Israel by Pence, that had been delayed from last month to mid-January, did not appear on a list of visiting foreign officials for this month published Monday by the Foreign Ministry, reported in Israeli media.
The Israeli news websites confirmed with the ministry that “due to various scheduling difficulties,” no new date has yet been set for the vice president’s visit.
Pence originally postponed a planned mid-December visit to Israel so he could preside over the vote on a tax overhaul favored by Trump. It was believed that Pence might have been needed to cast the deciding vote in the closely divided Senate.
A White House official at the time said that Pence would visit in mid-January instead.
The trip was originally meant to encompass Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and Egypt but was modified because Palestinian leaders refuse to meet with Pence in the wake of President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
It also has been suggested that Pence has indefinitely postponed his trip due to the refusal of Palestinian officials, as well as Muslim and Christian clerics in Jerusalem, to meet with him over the US announcement on Jerusalem.
Pence had been scheduled to address the Knesset and to visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial.
The reform of the US tax code passed on Dec. 20.