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US VP Plans Regional Visit to Push for Peace

US VP Plans Regional Visit to Push for Peace

Friday, 27 October, 2017 - 05:15
US Vice President Mike Pence arrives at the Muniz National Guard Air Base, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, October 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Carlos Giusti)

The US embassy in Tel Aviv announced on Thursday that Vice President Mike Pence would travel to the Middle East in late December at President Donald Trump’s request to push for the century’s peace deal between Israel and the Arabs.

A source at the Israeli Foreign Ministry said that Pence would visit Israel and the Palestinian territories where he plans to discuss with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and then with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas the renewal of the peace process.

Pence’s tour will also take him to Egypt where he will hold talks with President Abdel Fatah el-Sisi to tackle security cooperation between Cairo and Washington, discuss the issue of fighting terrorism and help minorities who are facing discrimination in the Middle East.

In a related development, the Palestinian Authority strongly attacked on Thursday British Prime Minister Theresa May who said her country is attached to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, which paved the way for the creation of an independent Jewish state.

May’s statements came despite a previous warning issued by the Authority that it would file a lawsuit against the British government if it did not annul the celebration of the historic decision and if it did not apologize.

“We are proud of the role that we played in the creation of the state of Israel, and we will certainly mark the centenary with pride,” May said last Wednesday.

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry condemned May’s stance and considered the British decision to celebrate the Balfour Declaration a new confirmation that the UK does not admit the presence of the Palestinian people, even 100 years after the declaration.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Malki said that May’s decision to celebrate the Declaration is a “testament to the colonial, racist mentality that exacted injustice and suffering on peoples around the world.”

He added that this mentality rationalized Britain's illegitimate gifting of another people's homeland to a third group and simultaneously disregarded the indigenous people's national identity and rights.

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