US Vice-President Mike Pence arrived in Israel today where he received a warm welcome from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before he gave a speech to the Israeli parliament in which he vowed to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem by the end of 2019.
On the last stop of his three-country tour in the Middle East (he had travelled to Egypt and Jordan before), Vice-President Mike Pence and his wife Karen told their welcoming party they were grateful to be representing President Trump and that his decision to assign Jerusalem as the de-facto Israeli capital would "create an opportunity to move on in good faith negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority."
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Come out and show your support I'll be there!<a href="https://twitter.com/GOPIsrael?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@GOPIsrael</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/VPinIsrael?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#VPinIsrael</a> <a href="https://t.co/IHWBa99Q0Z">pic.twitter.com/IHWBa99Q0Z</a></p>— Mark Kennedy (@MarkKenn4Trump) <a href="https://twitter.com/MarkKenn4Trump/status/955314370736787456?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 22, 2018</a></blockquote>
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During his long-awaited speech, the first by a sitting US Vice-President, Mr Pence told the Israeli parliament, known as the Knesset, that "the United States has chosen fact over fiction, and fact is the only true foundation for a just and lasting peace,"
"Jerusalem is Israel's capital, in the weeks ahead, our administration will advance its plan to open the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, and the Embassy will open by the end of next year."
"America stands with Israel."
"We stand with Israel because your cause is our cause, your values are our values and your fight is our fight. We stand with Israel because that's what Americans have always done."
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Mr Pence also reiterated that the United States will no longer certify the Iran nuclear deal and that the State Department would do its utmost to achieve peace in Syria.
His speech was interrupted at various intervals for a standing ovation.