US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will speak to Arab states on a new crisis trip starting this week about immediately working on priorities including Gaza's reconstruction and seeking a Palestinian state if Israel and Hamas accept a hostage deal, an official said, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported.
Blinken's trip comes at a delicate time for the US, which days earlier carried out airstrikes against Iranian targets in Iraq and Syria in response to a drone strike that killed three Americans. I Photo: Ron Przysucha, U.S. Department of State Flickr
The top US diplomat's airplane was refueling in Ireland on Monday as he heads to Saudi Arabia later in the day, beginning his fifth trip to the Middle East since the October 7 attacks by Hamas which prompted massive Israeli retaliation.
The trip comes at a delicate time for the US, which days earlier carried out airstrikes against Iranian targets in Iraq and Syria in response to a drone strike that killed three Americans.
It also comes as the US steps up pressure a notch on Israel, with the Biden administration on Thursday imposing sanctions on four extremist settlers in the West Bank after exasperation at violence against Palestinian civilians separate from the Gaza conflict.
Blinken will discuss a proposal reached a week earlier in Paris by the CIA chief and Egyptian, Qatari, and Israeli officials that would pause the nearly four-month war as Hamas frees hostages kidnapped during the October assault.