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US vice president 'not welcome', says Palestinian official


Ramallah, December 8: After a White House decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital, a senior Palestinian official said that US Vice President Mike Pence was "not welcome in Palestine" during his upcoming regional visit.

US Vice President Mike Pence. PTI file photo

"The American vice president is not welcome in Palestine," Jibril Rajoub, a senior member of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas's Fatah, told AFP. Rajoub also signalled that Abbas would not meet with Pence during his planned visit later this month.

"And President Abbas will not welcome him because of the statements he made" about Jerusalem. Abbas has not made similar comments and his office could not immediately be reached.

The White House warned today that cancelling a planned meeting between Abbas and Pence in the wake of the US policy shift on Jerusalem would be "counterproductive".

US President Donald Trump recognised Jerusalem as Israel's capital on Wednesday in a move that outraged Palestinian leaders, but which was hailed as historic by Israel.

The move was fully supported by Pence. Abbas said Trump has disqualified the United States from its traditional role as peace broker in the Middle East conflict.

Pence is expected to visit Israel and the Palestinian territories sometime before Christmas.


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