Blinken meets Arab officials, calls for 'stable end' to Gaza crisis | Israel's War on Gaza News

The US Secretary of State held talks with the President of Egypt and the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia during a recent Middle East tour.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has met with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to reiterate their support for a ceasefire and a two-state solution to the war in Gaza. said.

The meetings over the past two days are part of Blinken's sixth trip to the Middle East since the outbreak of war.

In his talks with the Saudi crown prince in Jeddah, Blinken underscored the “importance of urgently addressing humanitarian needs” in Gaza, the State Department said in a statement.

“Secretary Blinken reaffirmed the United States' commitment to achieving a lasting conclusion to the Gaza crisis and to the establishment of a future Palestinian state with security guarantees for Israel,” it added.

Blinken also traveled to Cairo, where he met with high-ranking Egyptian officials, including El-Sisi.

“Secretary Blinken and President El-Sisi discussed negotiations for an immediate cease-fire for at least six weeks and the release of all hostages,” the State Department said.

Later on Thursday at a joint news conference with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry, Blinken laid out the US vision for a post-war Gaza.

“Gaza cannot be used as a base for terrorism. Its population cannot be displaced. “There can be no more aggression by Israel,” the top US diplomat told reporters.

The US secretary of state, who also met with Arab diplomats from across the region in Cairo, was asked about the Biden administration's “paradoxical” stance, where Washington is trying to address the humanitarian crisis in Gaza caused by its own weapons. Transfer to the Israeli Army.

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“We are committed to Israel's right to defend itself and to ensure that it has what it needs to defend itself and to ensure that October 7th does not happen again,” Blinken said. “We are committed to doing everything we can to help people in harm's way.”

UN experts have warned of a possible famine in Gaza as a result of Israel's blockade.

In a keynote speech earlier this month, Biden warned Israel against using humanitarian aid to Gaza as “a bargaining chip.”

On Monday, the White House warned Israel against a major ground attack on the city of Rafah, where more than a million Palestinians have taken refuge since their displacement.

Blinken echoed that warning on Thursday, calling the Rafah invasion a “mistake”.

The Israeli military has killed nearly 32,000 Palestinians in Gaza since Hamas's offensive on southern Israel killed 1,139 people and captured more than 200 prisoners.

Despite the mounting Palestinian death toll and the destruction of large swaths of Gaza, the Biden administration is pushing ahead with financial and diplomatic support for Israel. The White House is working with Congress to secure more than $14 billion in additional aid to a U.S. ally.

Three UN calls for ceasefire Washington has also vetoed Security Council proposals.

Instead of ending the war, the Biden administration has worked to end hostilities, releasing Israeli captives on October 7 and providing humanitarian aid to Gaza.

The top US diplomat has traveled to the region several times to finalize the ceasefire agreement. On Thursday, the chances of securing a deal were narrowing, but there were still “real challenges” in the negotiations.

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Blinken is about to end his trip in Israel. It was Biden's first visit since Democratic officials stepped up criticism of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.

Last week, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called for new elections in Israel to replace Netanyahu — a move the Israeli prime minister described as “completely inappropriate.”

Still, the Biden administration has signaled it will continue its pro-Israel policies.

Blinken and Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed discussed “greater integration among countries in the region” during their meeting, the State Department said.

The Biden administration uses “integration” to refer to the establishment of formal diplomatic relations between Israel and Arab countries, commonly known as “normalization.” But the US push for official ties between Saudi Arabia and Israel has been complicated by the Gaza conflict.

Last month, the kingdom denied the account in a strongly worded statement after the White House suggested that Saudi Arabia-Israel default talks were continuing despite the war on Gaza.

“The Kingdom expressed its firm position to the US administration that unless an independent Palestinian state is recognized on the 1967 border with East Jerusalem, there will be no diplomatic relations with Israel, and an end to the Israeli occupation of the Gaza Strip. All Israeli occupation forces are withdrawing from the Gaza Strip,” the Saudi Foreign Ministry said at the time.

Netanyahu has repeatedly spoken out against the creation of a Palestinian state, insisting that Israel maintain security control over the Palestinian territories.

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