Watch: Mike Pence lands in Israel for historic visit

Vice President Mike Pence lands in Israel, beginning first trip since taking office.

David Rosenberg, | updated: 19:35

Mike Pence arrives in Israel
Mike Pence arrives in Israel
Kobi Richter/TPS

Vice President Mike Pence arrived in Israel Sunday evening, days after he began his Middle East tour.

On Saturday, Pence travelled to Egypt, meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi in Cairo to discuss the war on terrorism and the US-Egypt relationship.

The Vice President then flew to Amman, Jordan, meeting with King Abdullah II to discuss a joint strategy on defeating the ISIS terror organization, and the protection of Middle East Christians.

On Sunday evening, Air Force Two landed in Ben Gurion International Airport, carrying Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, for the couple’s first visit to the Jewish state since Pence was sworn into office last January.

The two were met on the tarmac by US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, his Israeli counterpart Ron Dermer, and Tourism Minister Yariv Levin (Likud), who welcomed the Vice President on behalf of the Israeli government.

“I welcome you to Israel, and thank you for the important role you played in the president’s declaration recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. We very much appreciate the strong friendship between our two countries, and we are sure that you and your wife Karen will feel at home here.”

The Israeli government will hold a formal welcoming ceremony for the Vice President Monday morning at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem.

Later that day, Pence is scheduled to address the Israeli Knesset – the first senior US official to do so in a decade. In 2008, then-President George Bush spoke at the Knesset to mark the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel.

On Tuesday, the Vice President will meet with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, tour the Yad Vashem Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem, and visit the Western Wall.

The Vice President, who was originally slated to visit Israel on December 18th, had planned to meet with Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

Following President Donald Trump’s December 6th declaration recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, however, the PA announced that Pence, as a senior figure in the Trump administration, was persona non-grata in the PA.

In addition, members of the predominantly Arab Joint List announced that they would boycott Pence's addressed to the Knesset.








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