Egypt’s Coptic Pope cancels meeting with US vice president over Jerusalem

Cairo: Egypt’s Coptic Church head Pope Tawadros II has refused to meet United States Vice President Mike Pence over President Donald Trump’s Jerusalem decision.

The Anadolu Agency quoted Coptic Orthodox Church of Egypt as saying in a statement that the Pope has cancelled the meeting with the US vice president, which was scheduled to take place on December 20 in Cairo.

The pope attributed the rejection to “the decision taken by the US administration regarding Jerusalem in an inappropriate time without considering the feelings of millions of Arab people”, the statement added.

It came a day after the Egypt’s Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed al-Tayeb declined to meet Pence.

Earlier on Wednesday, after Trump’s announcement, the United States became the first country in the world to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

In line with this announcement, the US is also shifting its embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city, again becoming the first country to take such a step.

With this step, Trump has fulfilled one of its campaign promises and reversed decades-long US policy on this matter.

Jerusalem is considered a sacred place, which is home to Jewish, Christian and Muslim holy sites. However, it is also a disputed territory, contested by both Israel and Palestine, which sees it as a capital of its future state. (ANI)