Vice President Mike Pence kicked off his first visit to Israel as the American second-in-command by meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
In spite of the fact that he flew into the Middle East on a wave of Arab anger over the Trump administration’s unilateral recognition of the holy city as Israel’s capital, according to CBS.
Pence has received a warm welcome in Israel, which has praised the American decision last month to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. But that decision has infuriated the Palestinians and upset America’s Arab allies as well.
President Trump’s pivot on Jerusalem last month infuriated the Palestinians, who seek the Israeli-annexed eastern sector of the city as a future capital. They accused the U.S. of siding with Israel and said Washington can no longer serve as a mediator.
Meanwhile, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he would not meet with Trump administration officials and called off a meeting with Pence that had been scheduled for mid-December.
Before Israel, Pence stopped in Egypt and Jordan.