Pence to Visit Israel and Egypt in December

(AP) -
Pence Israel
Vice President Mike Pence addresses the In Defense of Christians’ fourth annual national advocacy summit in Washington on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Vice President Mike Pence announced Wednesday that he will travel to Israel and Egypt in late December at President Donald Trump’s request.

Pence made the announcement in Washington in keynote remarks at In Defense of Christians’ annual solidarity dinner for Christians in the Middle East.

He said he’ll deliver a message during the trip that now is the time to “end the persecution of Christians and all religious minorities.”

The vice president will visit Israel during Chanukah. He’ll discuss the prospects for a Middle East peace agreement in separate meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Pence is also expected to address U.S. policy toward Iran and highlight Israel’s space program.

Pence will meet with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi and highlight U.S.-Egypt cooperation on security issues. Pence also plans meetings with government and religious leaders to discuss combating the persecution of religious minorities, including Christians, in the broader Middle East.