Blinken ends Mideast visit with talks on Gaza crisis

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U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken
U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken held talks on Thursday with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi in the Egyptian capital of Cairo as he wraps up his Mideast tour over the ongoing Israeli escalation in the Gaza Strip.

During the talks, Sisi updated Blinken with “the Egyptian efforts to communicate with all parties to reach an immediate ceasefire in Gaza,” as well as to ensure sufficient flow of humanitarian aid into the besieged enclave, said the Egyptian presidency in a statement. The Egyptian president underlined the need to end “the humanitarian plight in Gaza,” and the necessity of reaching a just and comprehensive settlement of the Palestinian issue, according to the statement. The top U.S. diplomat expressed Washington’s appreciation of Cairo’s efforts to consolidate peace and stability in the region, while Sisi stressed Egypt’s keenness to continue coordination with the United States to maintain regional security and stability. Sisi and Blinken also “affirmed their categorical rejection of the principle or attempts to displace Palestinians from their lands, and their commitment to the two-state solution as the basis for achieving stability in the region,” said the Egyptian presidency. The two sides agreed to maintain intensive consultations and make peacemaking efforts to contain the situation and prevent the expansion of the conflict.

It is Blinken’s fourth Mideast tour since Israel started its massive military campaign against Gaza on Oct. 7, 2023, in response to a surprise attack launched by Hamas on southern Israel. He started the regional tour last week and visited Türkiye, Greece, Jordan, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Israel, the West Bank, Bahrain, and finally Egypt.

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