Issue Brief on “Mike Pence’s Trip to the Middle East: Cementing Alliances”

On 20 January, US Vice President Mike Pence arrived in Egypt to start a four-day Middle East tour. The trip had initially been scheduled for early December 2017, but was postponed. The trip primarily aimed to support the Trump administration’s efforts in its quest of an “ultimate deal”[1] to bring about Middle East peace.

Mr. Pence’s next stops were Jordan, a US military base near the Syrian border, and finally Israel. This was the highest-level visit from a US official to the region since December 2017, when Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

In his talks with the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in Cairo, Pence assured Sisi that United States was committed to protect the status quo of holy sites in Jerusalem and had as yet, not come to a final resolution. He went on to guarantee firm US support in the nation’s fight against Islamist militants and said the connection between the two countries had never been stronger after a period of “drifting apart.”[2]

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