U.S. vice-president Mike Pence touches down in Shannon Airport

Pope Francis

"It is a matter of years and not weeks or months", he said. "We'd like to see our people come home".

He also said of Pence, "I don't think he has a real concept of reality".

Pence and el-Sissi held two and half hours of talks at the presidential palace in Cairo, with acknowledgements of friendship and partnership between the two countries.

He will visit Egypt, Jordan and Israel over four days but won't meet with Palestinians, reflecting the impasse in the Trump administration's efforts to broker peace between them and Israel. He said, "You mean Mike Pence, the same Mike Pence that funded gay conversion therapy?"

"I urge you to communicate to the Egyptian government that the persecution of the LGBT community is only heightening US government concerns about the suppression of basic freedoms for all Egyptians", said Human Rights First President Elisa Massimino in a letter she sent to Pence on December 18.

Vice President Mike Pence went ahead with his delayed trip to the Middle East on Friday, despite the looming government shutdown.

Pence planned to depart on his trip Friday evening even as a government shutdown appeared imminent.

In response to Abbas' refusal to engage in American-brokered peace talks, the U.S. has frozen tens of millions of dollars in aid to the UN's agency for Palestinian refugees, although the State Department said the second tranche of funds was being held up due to the need for "reform" at the organization.

Lancashire Police makes use of Amazon Alexa to ship updates
Previously, Alexa was available only on certain phones such as the HTC U11 and the Huawei Mate 9 as a pre-loaded service. We should start seeing Alexa on select Windows 10 PCs from Acer, HP and Lenovo in Q1 2018, exclusively in the US.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the Pope of the Coptic Christian Church in Egypt said they would not meet with Pence following President Donald Trump's decision to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The Palestinians claim East Jerusalem, which Israel captured from Jordan in the 1967 Six Day War, as the capital of its future state.

Pence added, he and the President believe they can solve issues related to the budget like the border wall, chain migration and DACA within the next few weeks.

Always outspoken, Rippon said recently he will not go to the White House for a post-Olympic celebration hosted by President Trump. "My perception was that he was encouraged by that message".

Upon arriving at the palace where Pence and Sisi met, reporters traveling with the vice president initially were not allowed to exit their van and enter the building.

In addition to being boycotted by Arab MKs, Pence is also being shunned by the PA and will not travel to Ramallah or meet with Palestinian leaders.

El-Sissi has built a strategic alliance with Trump and urged the American president to become more involved in the fight against Islamic militancy in the Middle East. Trump has praised el-Sissi for the April release of Egyptian-American charity worker Aya Hijazi, who had been detained for almost three years.

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