DALLAS (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence announced Wednesday that he will travel to Israel and Egypt in late December, and said the U.S. will redirect funds aimed at helping persecuted Christians and other minorities away from the United Nations.

Pence discussed his plans at a religious dinner in Washington, where he stressed the Trump administration’s commitment to helping Christian minority groups across the Middle East.

“President Trump has directed me to go to the Middle East in late December,” Pence said in a keynote speech delivered at In Defense of Christians’ annual solidarity dinner for Christians in the Middle East.

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