Egyptian Religious Leader Snubs Mike Pence After Trump’s Jerusalem Move

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In a statement, a spokesman for the church said it had “excused itself from hosting” the vice president, arguing that Trump’s move was “inappropriate and without consideration for the feelings of millions of people.”

Vice President Pence is planning on visiting Israel, occupied Palestinian territories, and other countries in the nearby region later this month, but thanks to President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, multiple religious leaders have opted not to meet with Pence, Egypt’s Coptic Church being the latest as reported by The Reuters.

In a statement, a spokesman for the church said it had “excused itself from hosting” the vice president, arguing that Trump’s move was “inappropriate and without consideration for the feelings of millions of people.”

In addition to the Egyptian Coptic Church, Jibril Rajoub, who serves as Secretary General of the Central Committee for Palestine’s Fatah Central Committee, said Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas would not be meeting with Pence.

“In the name of Fatah I say that we will not welcome Trump’s deputy in the Palestinian Territories,” Rajoub said. “He asked to meet [Abbas] on the 19th of this month in Bethlehem, such a meeting will not take place.”

Though White House officials said the vice president still intends to meet Abbas, arguing that it would be “counterproductive” not to do so, Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat also said there would be no talks with Pence until President Trump reverses his Jerusalem decision.

Trump delivered an 11-minute speech on Wednesday from the White House’s Diplomatic Reception Room making the declaration. “Today we finally acknowledge the obvious: that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital,” he said. “This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality. It is also the right thing to do. It’s something that has to be done.”


The move to affirm Jerusalem as Israel’s capital has been denounced by U.S. enemies and allies alike, including the president of Turkey, the Hezbollah in Lebanon, Iran’s army chief, the prime minister of Iraq, and the governments of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates; all argue that Trump’s verdict is likely to spark chaos, violence, and division in an already unstable region of the world.


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