US Vice President Mike Pence will visit the Western Wall on Sunday, soon after arriving in the country for a two-day visit, sources familiar with details of the visit confirmed on Wednesday.
The visit to the site will come seven months after Donald Trump became the first sitting US president to visit the site. Trump made that visit with his family, but not accompanied by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a move interpreted as an effort by the US not to be seen as conferring recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over the Old City.
Diplomatic sources said that it is unlikely that Netanyahu will accompany Pence to the Wall.
Even though Washington recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last week, Trump made it clear that he was not taking a stand on the future borders of the city.On Monday
, Pence is scheduled to address the Knesset, the highest ranking US official to do so since George Bush addressed the body to mark Israel’s 60th birthday in 2008.
Pence, who is being snubbed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas who announced after the US recognition of Jerusalem that he will not meet the vice president, will fly to Egypt on Tuesday
for a meeting with President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, before returning to Washington.
That Abbas won’t meet Pence is a reversal of the situation during Pence’s last visit to the country in 2014 as governor of Indiana and possible candidate for the 2016 presidential nomination. At that time Pence, who visited Bethlehem on Christmas Eve, declined an invitation from Abbas for a meeting.