U.S. Vice President Mike Pence will travel to Jordan, Egypt and Israel on behalf of President Donald Trump later this month, Pence's office said in a statement Monday.
“The vice president is traveling to the Middle East to reaffirm our commitment to work with the United States’ allies in the region to defeat radicalism that threatens future generations,” said Alyssa Farah, Pence's press secretary. “The vice president is looking forward to meeting with the leaders of Egypt, Jordan and Israel to discuss ways to work together to fight terrorism and improve our national security.”
The visit, now scheduled for Jan. 19-23, had been delayed due to unrest in the region following Trump's decision to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The U.S. motion to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital was rejected by the U.N. Security Council and condemned by international leaders.
The statement also said that Pence would discuss the need to “assist persecuted religious minorities” during his trip.
Last month, a gunman opened fire outside a church south of Cairo and at a nearby Christian-owned store, killing at least nine people, including a policeman.