US Vice President to visit Auschwitz-Birkenau

Mike Pence will visit the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp together with Polish President Andrzej Duda on Friday.

Nissan Tzur ,

Mike Pence
Mike Pence
Miriam Alster/Flash 90

US Vice President Mike Pence will visit the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp on Friday, and tour a memorial to Jews killed at the former extermination camp run by Nazis in occupied Poland.

Pence will tour the site with Polish President Andrzej Duda, a senior White House official said Monday, according to The Washington Post.

It will be Pence’s first visit to the infamous prison camp operated by Nazi Germany during World War II. Portions of the camp where an estimated 1.1 million people died are preserved as a museum and memorial.

Pence will be in Poland this week for the joint US-Poland conference on Middle East peace and security which is being held in Warsaw.

Pence plans to meet with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu when both are in Warsaw for the Mideast conference, according to The Washington Post.

The Vice President and Netanyahu will tour a memorial to the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto uprising, in which Jewish residents resisted Nazi efforts to deport remaining inhabitants. Nazis crushed the uprising after about a month, and Jews were deported.

Pence’s keynote remarks at the Ministerial to Promote a Future of Peace and Security in the Middle East will highlight what the United States and Israel claim is Iran’s widespread malign influence across the Middle East.

“The vice president will essentially call out Iran for their actions. He will give a message to those groups that are there, that, you know, if you stand with us, we’ll stand with you,” a White House official said.

Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and lead envoy for Israeli-Palestinian peace, will attend the conference, along with negotiator Jason Greenblatt. Kushner is expected to provide an update about the peace plan being prepared by the administration during the conference, though the plan itself will likely not be unveiled until after the April 9 election in Israel.

Iran was angered by the conference and took action against Poland in protest, including the cancellation of a week dedicated to Polish films.

A US official later clarified that the conference is not aimed at Iran, explaining that the conference would discuss the crises in Syria and Yemen as well as missile proliferation, cyber issues, human rights and refugees, with working groups then tasked with following up.