Egypt's Coptic Church rejects meeting with US's Pence over Jerusalem move

IndiaTV

On Friday, the grand imam of Cairo's Al-Azhar Mosque also said that he would not meet Pence, according to Egyptian media.

Vice President Mike Pence watches as President Donald Trump holds up a proclamation to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, in Washington.

Sheikh Al-Tayyeb, who had initially agreed to the meeting, however, made a decision to withdraw following the latest development involving the status of Jerusalem, the report said.

The Grand Sheikh had initially accepted the request set forth by the United States embassy for Pence and Al-Tayeb to meet on December 20.

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On Wednesday, President Trump declared that the U.S. would formally recognise the city of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, breaking with a decades-old USA policy that the status of the city must be determined in negotiations with the Palestinians, who seek to establish an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Tayeb has warned that U.S. plans to relocate its Israeli embassy to Jerusalem will "open the floodgates of hell to the West".

Following Trump's decision, the spokesperson for Egypt's Foreign Ministry, Ahmed Abu Zeid called upon the UN Security Council to convene an urgent meeting to discuss the matter, and to hear a statement from the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres.

Jerusalem remains at the core of the perennial Israel-Palestine conflict, as Palestinians want Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem as the capital of a future state.

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