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Al-Azhar Sheikh rejects meeting with US official over Jerusalem

December 8, 2017 at 4:09 pm

One of Egypt’s top Muslim leaders, the Imam of Al-Azhar Mosque, today rejected a meeting requested by US Vice President Mike Pence in protest against an American decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Al-Azhar said in a statement today.

Sheikh Ahmed Al-Tayeb had rejected a request from the United States for Pence to meet him on 20 December at Al-Azhar saying President Donald Trump must reverse his decision on Jerusalem.

Yesterday, a senior Palestinian official in President Mahmoud Abbas’ ruling Fatah party said Pence “is unwelcome in Palestine”.

“In the name of Fatah I say that we will not welcome Trump’s deputy in the Palestinian Territories. He asked to meet [Abbas] on the 19th of this month in Bethlehem, such a meeting will not take place,” Jibril Rajoub said.

Following Rajoub’s announcement, the White House warned the PA against cancelling the meetings, warning it of the repercussions.

Trump announced on Wednesday that the US will recognises Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and intends to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to the occupied city.

Pence appeared alongside Trump during his speech from the White House.

Follow MEMO’s blog on the developments following Trump’s decision