Unfortunate: Pence spokeswoman says about Palestinian cancellation of meeting

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A spokeswoman for Vice President Mike Pence said Sunday that it is “unfortunate” that the Palestinian Authority canceled a scheduled meeting with Pence over the Trump administration’s announcement to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

“It’s unfortunate that the Palestinian Authority is walking away again from an opportunity to discuss the future of the region, but the Administration remains undeterred in its efforts to help achieve peace between Israelis and Palestinians and our peace team remains hard at work putting together a plan,” Pence’s press secretary, Alyssa Farah, said in a statement.

Pence is scheduled to visit the Middle East later this month, but will no longer be meeting with Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, nor Pope Tawadros II, the head of Egypt’s Coptic Church. Both said there decisions were in response to Wednesday’s announcement by President Donald Trump that the U.S. was recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Pence is still scheduled to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi during the trip.

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