US Vice President Mike Pence will make his first state visit to Israel in December during the holiday of Hanukkah in hopes of advancing the Trump administration’s peace plans for the region. He will also visit the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Egypt during his trip.
Pence announced his trip, undertaken at President Donald Trump’s request, while speaking at a Christian event held annually in Washington, DC in support of Middle East Christians, an oft-persecuted minority, the Times of Israel reported.
— Vice President Pence (@VP) October 25, 2017
“President Trump has directed me to go to the Middle East in late December, and I promise you, one of the messages I will bring on the president’s behalf to leaders across the region is that now is the time to bring an end to the persecution of Christians and all religious minorities,” the vice president said.
According to the White House, Pence will visit the Jewish State during Hanukkah, the eight-day Festival of Lights celebrating the miraculous Maccabean rebel victory over Greek oppressors during Temple times.
He will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as PA President Mahmoud Abbas and Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, to discuss the Trump administration’s vision for a peace agreement. While the administration has yet to present a plan and says that no plan is forthcoming, since taking office the president has sent envoys on a number of diplomatic missions to the region in hopes of jumpstarting talks.
Pence, an outspoken and uncompromising Evangelical Christian supporter of Israel, has visited the holy land three times before, in 2004, 2008 and 2014. He even has Jewish relatives who reside in Israel.
He has repeatedly reaffirmed the Trump administration’s unconditional support for the Jewish State in any possible peace negotiation, and has taken on the role of Trump’s Israel spokesman, appearing at pro-Israel events and conferences to speak on the president’s behalf.
Source: Israel in the News