JERUSALEM — Vice President Mike Pence placed his hand on the hallowed Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City on Tuesday as he wrapped up a four-day trip to the Mideast that ended with Palestinians still fuming over the Trump administration’s decision to recognize the city as Israel’s capital.

On a solemn visit to the holiest site where Jews can pray, Pence tucked a small white note of prayer in the wall’s cracks after touring the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

During his first trip to the region as vice president, Pence sought to enlist the help of Arab leaders in Egypt and Jordan on the Mideast peace process and used a high-profile speech to the Knesset to reaffirm President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital and accelerate plans to open a U.S. embassy in Jerusalem.

But Pence’s willingness to meet with Palestinian leaders – he told The Associated Press in an interview that the “door’s open” – was rebuffed by President Mahmoud Abbas, who canceled meetings last month and offered a not-so-subtle snub by overlapping with Pence in Jordan from Saturday evening until midday Sunday.

Several Arab lawmakers disrupted the start of Pence’s speech to the Knesset, holding signs that said, “Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine.”

Much of Pence’s trip focused on working with U.S. partners to counter terrorism and make the case for persecuted Christian minorities in the Middle East. But shortly before Air Force Two departed Jerusalem, Abbas’ ruling Fatah party called for a general strike to protest Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital – another escalation after the Trump administration had raised hopes of a cooling-down period.

“The trip made zero progress in bringing the Palestinians back to the table,” Ilan Goldenberg, director of the Middle East Security Program at the Center for a New American Security, wrote in an email. “In fact, it probably only hardened the Palestinian position.”

Aaron David Miller, a Wilson Center distinguished fellow who served as a State Department Middle East analyst and negotiator, said the trip shouldn’t be judged just yet and that a successful outcome will take time.

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