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Pence Tells Sisi U.S. Would Support Two-State Solution


U.S. Vice President Mike Pence

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence told Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi that the United States would support a two-state solution for Israelis and Palestinians if the two sides agreed upon the issue.

"The United States of America is deeply committed to restarting the peace process in the Middle East," Pence told reporters on January 20 after meeting with Sisi during a visit to Egypt

Pence’s tour of the region -- he will also visit Jordan and Israel -- comes more than a month after President Donald Trump announced his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

The move has infuriated Palestinians, who see Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.

Israel has annexed East Jerusalem and declared the entire city as its capital -- a move the international community has never recognized.

Pence is not scheduled to meet with Palestinian leaders during his trip.

"We heard President el-Sisi out," Pence told reporters. He said the Egyptian leader described his objection to Trump's decision on Jerusalem as a "disagreement between friends."

Pence said he assured Sisi that the United States was committed to preserving the current status of disputed holy sites in Jerusalem, adding that no final decision on boundaries for the two sides had been made.

"My perception was that he was encouraged by that message," Pence said.

In a statement, the Egyptian presidency quoted Sisi as saying that only negotiations based on a two-state solution could bring a solution to the longstanding conflict. "Egypt would spare no effort to support this," it added.

Based on reporting by AFP, AP, Reuters, and CNN
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