Pence Underscores US Opposition to Iran Nuclear Deal

25 January, 2018, 02:11 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • Ahmad Tibi

Pence's visit, twice delayed in the wake of President Trump's incendiary decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, capped a two-day stay in the country.

The Palestinians say the U.S. is no longer an acceptable mediator, and they have pre-emptively rejected any peace proposal floated by the Trump administration, fearing it will fall far short of their hopes for an independent state in the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza, lands captured by Israel in the 1967 war.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence has said the country will establish an embassy in Jerusalem, Israel before 2020, years earlier than what was previously predicted, National Republic Radio reported Monday.

A senior White House official said top negotiators for the Trump administration, Jared Kushner, a senior adviser and the president's son-in-law, and Jason Greenblatt, Trump's special representative for global negotiations, had not spoken to Palestinian leaders since just before Trump's December 6 announcement.

Pence followed in the footsteps of Trump, who became the first sitting United States president to visit the Western Wall in May a year ago.

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Regarding Trump's decision on Jerusalem, Karmi said "we must not think about the U.S.in this context".

The message was conveyed by speakers at the panel "Trump's Jerusalem Promise: Time for Europe to Lead for Peace in the Middle East" organized by the EuroPal Forum - an independent and non-party political organization based in London working to build networks throughout Europe in support of the promotion and realization of Palestinian rights.

On previous visits by Presidents Donald Trump and Barack Obama, female journalists were afforded a clear view, according to the Guardian.

But Pence said Palestinians hold all the cards to jump-start peace talks that fell apart in 2014.

After addressing the Knesset and dining Monday with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Pence visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial on Tuesday and went to the Western Wall, the Jewish prayer site in Jerusalem's Old City that stands below the Temple Mount, the holiest place in Judaism.

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"Since Trump's decision has altered the rules of the game, he (Abbas) expects the European foreign ministers to come forward and collectively recognize the state of Palestine as a way to respond to Trump's decision", Maliki said.

Palestinian officials have criticized the Jerusalem's recognition as the capital of Israel and have rejected to meet with Vice-President Pence. "It is very clear that the US not only isn't an honest broker, it is not an independent broker, but it is totally identified with Israel", Karmi said.

US Special Representative Jason Greenblatt Wednesday praised the launch of 3G cellular services by Palestinian mobile phone operators Jawwal and Wataniya in the West Bank.

Back in June, the Jerusalem District Court sided with dozens of Arab plaintiffs who sued the PA for health and mental damages after its security forces arrested and imprisoned them in detention dungeons where the plaintiffs were tortured, their healthy teeth were pulled and urine was injected into their veins by PA interrogators.

Mike Pence originally hoped that his trip would be spent talking to both Israelis and Palestinians, and with a heavy focus on the region's Christians. When the protest intensified the Arab MPs were forcibly removed from the Israeli parliament with the help of security staff.

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Before Israel, Pence has visited Egypt and Jordan on the trip.

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