US-Israel Relationship

Netanyahu lauds Pence for US recognition of Jerusalem as capital

US vice president Mike Pence is welcomed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem, on January 22, 2018. Photo by Hadas Parush/Flash90

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu celebrated the American recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital as he welcomed US Vice President Mike Pence to the city on Monday.

Netanyahu told Pence he had never before been able to join a foreign leader in calling the city the capital.“This is the first time that I’m standing when both leaders can say those three words, ‘Israel’s capital, Jerusalem.’” Netanyahu said according to a statement from his office.

The trip by Pence is the first by a major figure from the US since President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in a December 6 address. While Israel has feted Pence for the move, the Palestinians have reacted furiously and are refusing to meet with the vice president, who arrived in the city Sunday night.

“I want to thank President [Donald] Trump and you for that historic statement, which I know you supported and championed,” Netanyahu added. “I look forward to discussing with you, as we’ve just begun, how to further strengthen our remarkable alliance—it’s never been stronger—and how to advance peace and security in our region, which is our common aim.”

Read More: Times of Israel