Pence arrives after saying U.S. won’t let Iran dominate Mideast

Minister of Tourism Yariv Levin received Pence on behalf of the Israeli government.

January 21, 2018 20:01
2 minute read.

US Ambassador to ISrael David Friedman prepares to welcome VP Mike Pence at Ben Gurion Airport (Tovah Lazaroff)

US Ambassador to ISrael David Friedman prepares to welcome VP Mike Pence at Ben Gurion Airport (Tovah Lazaroff)


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US Vice President Mike Pence arrived in Israel Sunday evening, in the third stop of his Middle East visit, after having met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Jordan's King Abdullah.

Pence’s visit to Israel is planned to last less than 48 hours, starting on Sunday night and ending on Tuesday evening, in which he will address the Knesset, meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and visit Yad Vashem and the Western Wall.

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Minister of Tourism Yariv Levin received Pence on behalf of the Israeli government.

"I congratulate you on your arrival in Israel and thank you for your important part in the president's declaration and in the recognition of Jerusalem as our capital," he said. "We greatly appreciate the strong friendship between the two countries and I am convinced that your wife, Karen, and you will feel at home here."

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein welcomed Pence on Twitter.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also welcomed the vice president in a statement, in which he included a message for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who has rebuked Trump's peace efforts ever since his embassy move. Earlier Sunday, a senior Fatah official told The Jerusalem Post that Abbas plans to turn to the European Union to help establish an alternative to Trump's peace initiative.

"There is no substitute for American leadership in the peace process.Those who are not willing to discuss peace with the Americans do not want peace," Netanyahu said.

Vice President Mike Pence arrives in Israel, January 21, 2018.

"With regard to security, I have a message to European countries: I suggest they take President Trump's words seriously," he added.

This is the first time a high-ranking US official has visited Israel since President Donald Trump declared Jerusalem as Israel's capital in December 2017, and Pence's first visit as vice president.

Police started preparations for the operation several weeks ago. Policemen will be deployed around the area of Jerusalem and the main routes leading to the capital.

“There will be a wide-range of police units, including Border Police units, special patrol units, motorcycle units and undercover personnel, which will be in one of the different areas,” he added.

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