Vice President Mike Pence said Monday the peace between Israel and the Palestinians is more likely following the decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish State.
“I truly do believe, as the president does, that in making the decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the peace is now more possible not less possible,” Pence said during an interview with Shannon Bream on “Fox News @ Night.”
President Trump recognized the holy city as the capital of Israel last month and instructed the State Department to begin the process of moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Pence told Israel’s Knesset on Monday that the U.S. Embassy will open in Jerusalem next year, ahead of schedule.
The vice president recalled his recent meetings with officials from Egypt and Jordan during the Monday interview, who came out against the move in December, but described the conversations as “between friends and between allies.”
He admitted that although the opinions differed, “As (King of Jordan) Abdullah said, we’ll just agree to disagree on the issue of recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.”
Pence also fired back against accusations that the announcement made the peace process impossible and breached the trust with the Palestinian leadership.
“The truth is, the Palestinians walked away from negotiations for peace with Israel since 2014. It’s time for the Palestinians to come back to the table,” he told Fox News.
“The reality is President Trump made a promise to the American people and he kept that promise in recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” Pence added. “We’ve made no determination on the final status of boundaries of any peace agreement and if both sides come together and agree, we’ll accept a two-state solution.”
The Trump administration announced earlier this month that it is withholding funds for a controversial U.N. refugee agency for Palestinians.
The State Department confirmed the move but noted that it has not cut funding to the organization completely – it is withholding $65 million of a planned $125 million installment to the agency.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.