US Vice President Mike Pence delays Middle East trip

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A spokesperson for Pence's office said the vice president "is committed to seeing the tax cut through to the finish line", and looks forward to traveling to Egypt and Israel in January. Instead, the trip will be rescheduled for the week of January 14, officials told reporters.

Pence would potentially have to break a tie vote in the Senate on the tax bill, but that scenario become more remote on Monday after Sen.

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"The tax vote is still in very good shape, but we don't want to take any chances whatsoever", a senior White House official said.

Officials denied that Mr Pence's decision was motivated by a wave of deadly protests in the wake of Trump's deeply controversial decision to declare Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Palestinian officials have pressured local church leaders to reject Pence's visit and follow the example of the Egyptian Coptic Church whose pope has refused to meet the usa vice president due to the decision.

Mr. Trump said that he had made a decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital to keep a campaign promise, noting that several of his predecessors had vowed to do so, but never did.

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Rob Goldstone, a British music promoter, reportedly said he could arrange the meeting after Trump turned down his invitation to travel to Moscow.

But ever since Trump's December 6 announcement about Jerusalem, America's role in the region has come under fire, and nowhere more so than in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

Earlier this month Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he would not meet with Pence on his trip due to this announcement.

Suddenly, half of Pence's meetings were canceled. The two religious leaders also declined to meet with Pence.

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas's Fatah faction had called for a massive demonstration to protest against Pence's visit.

With the Senate vote now expected late Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning, White House officials said Monday that Pence's trip could not be shortened or delayed any further, so they chose to postpone.

White House officials said the delay was not related to the reaction in the region to Trump's decision.

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