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Pence Visits Jordan on Mideast Peace Mission


Jordan's King Abdullah, his wife Queen Rania (R), meet with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, and wife Karen Pence, at the Royal Palace in Amman, Jordan, Jan. 21, 2018.

Jordan's King Abdullah expressed concern about Washington's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, in talks with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence.

During the second stop on the vice president's four-day tour of the Middle East, Pence said that the two countries had agreed to disagree on the controversial decision announced last month.

"Friends occasionally have disagreements, and we agreed to disagree on recognizing Jerusalem. We agreed all parties need to come to the table. I hope I impressed on him our earnest desire to restart the peace process," Pence told reporters after the meeting.

The king told the vice president that the only solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a two-state solution and that East Jerusalem must be the capital of a future Palestinian state.

Jordan's King Abdullah and wife Queen Rania are seen during their meeting with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and wife Karen Pence (not pictured) at the Royal Palace in Amman, Jordan, Jan. 21, 2018.
Jordan's King Abdullah and wife Queen Rania are seen during their meeting with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and wife Karen Pence (not pictured) at the Royal Palace in Amman, Jordan, Jan. 21, 2018.

Before Jordan, Pence visited Cairo, where he pledged the U.S. would continue to support Egypt in its battle against terrorism.

Pence also met with U.S. troops in the region before flying to Israel, where he will address the Knesset — Israel's parliament — and meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Netanyahu said Sunday at his Cabinet meeting that Pence is "a great and true friend of Israel." The prime minister added that he thought it was a "disgrace" that the main Arab party in the Knesset planned to boycott's Pence's speech Monday.

Pence, a conservative Christian, helped push for U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, a decision that was well-received by evangelical Christians in the U.S.

Pence's visit to the Middle East is the highest-level visit by a U.S. official to the region since President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital in December.

Pence is not expected to meet with Palestinian leaders.

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