(January 22, 2018 / JNS) Vice President Mike Pence met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at his office in Jerusalem on Monday and called U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital the “dawn of a new era” in the Middle East.
“In making his historic announcement on December the 6th, President [Donald] Trump did so convinced that by recognizing Israel’s capital of Jerusalem, that we would create an opportunity to move on in good faith negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority on issues that can be discussed, and President Trump truly believes can be resolved,” said Pence, adding that he is “hopeful that we are at the dawn of a new era of renewed discussions to achieve a peaceful resolution to the decades-long conflict that has affected this region.”
Pence was greeted in the capital with a welcoming ceremony normally reserved for heads of state. The bilateral meeting was the first between Netanyahu and a top U.S. official since Trump last month announced the U.S. policy changes on Jerusalem.
“Honorable vice president, for several years, I have had the great privilege of standing here and receiving hundreds of leaders,” Netanyahu said. “I welcome them in Israel’s capital of Jerusalem. Yet this is the first time that I stand here and both of us can say, ‘Israel’s capital, Jerusalem.’”
“I want to thank U.S. President Donald Trump for his historical declaration, which I know you supported and were proud of,” Netanyahu added. “I welcome you, good friend, to Jerusalem. Welcome.”