January 19, 2018 / 4:52 PM / a year ago

Pence to travel to Middle East even if U.S. government shuts down: White House

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson leave after a joint news conference by President Donald Trump and Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg at the White House in Washington, U.S., January 10, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Vice President Mike Pence will travel to the Middle East for talks with the leaders of Egypt, Israel and Jordan even if the U.S. government shuts down at midnight on Friday because the trip is vital to U.S. national security, the White House said.

“The vice president’s meetings ... are integral to America’s national security and diplomatic objectives, therefore the vice president will travel to the Middle East as scheduled,” said Alyssa Farah, a spokeswoman for Pence.

Reporting by David Alexander; Editing by Mohammad Zargham

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