AMMAN, Jordan – The Latest on Vice President Mike Pence’s Middle East tour (all times local):
Jordan’s King Abdullah II is appealing to U.S. Vice President Mike Pence to “rebuild trust and confidence” after the Trump administration’s recent decision to designate Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Abdullah, a staunch U.S. ally, said Sunday in Amman that he hopes to have “candid and frank” discussions with the visiting vice president.
The Jerusalem decision has infuriated the Palestinians, who accuse the U.S. of siding with Israel and say Trump cannot serve as a mediator.
Abdullah noted that the U.S. decision was not part of a “comprehensive settlement” of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He says the U.S. now has a “major challenge to overcome.”
Pence says the U.S. is “committed to restarting the peace process.”
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence is defending President Donald Trump’s move to declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel, a decision that has touched off uneasiness among Arab nations on his first tour of the region.
Pence was meeting Sunday with Jordan’s King Abdullah II for discussions that are expected to include the Trump administration’s December decision on Israel’s capital and plans to shift the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
The vice president said after meeting Saturday with Egypt’s President Fatah Abdel el-Sissi that he emphasized the U.S. commitment to the peace process between the Israelis and the Palestinian Authority.