Controversy over President Donald Trump’s decision to move the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem had led to the cancellation of a number of planned meetings ahead of the trip originally scheduled for December.

The Palestinian leadership, already furious over the Jerusalem decision, has denounced the US administration and had already refused to meet Pence in December.

A coalition of Arab parties in the Israeli parliament said Saturday it would boycott a speech by Pence on Monday, calling him “dangerous and messianic”.

Pence held talks with former army chief Sisi in Cairo that were expected to focus on US aid and security, including a jihadist insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula.

Sisi’s office said the talks also covered Jerusalem, with the president stressing Egypt’s support for a two-state peace settlement and “the right of the Palestinian people to establish an independent state with east Jerusalem as capital”.

Pence, for his part, said relations between Cairo and Washington had “never been stronger” thanks to the leadership of Trump and Sisi.

Expressing sympathy for deadly jihadist attacks that have targeted both Muslim and Christian places of worship, he said: “We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with you in Egypt in the fight against terrorism.”

 

Read the full article at SBS.

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