Biden sends Blinken to Middle East amid Gaza ceasefire

U.S. president Joe Biden

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken holds a joint news conference with his British counterpart at Downing Street following their bilateral meeting in London, Britain May 3, 2021 during the G7 foreign ministers meeting.

PHOTO: REUTERS US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will leave for the Middle East on Monday to meet with Israeli and Palestinian officials, among other regional leaders, as the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas appeared to hold for the fourth straight day.

Blinken will travel to Jerusalem, Ramallah, Cairo and Amman through Thursday and meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and Jordan’s King Abdullah, the State Department said.

US President Joe Biden, in announcing the visit, said he had asked the top US diplomat to make the trip following diplomatic efforts that sought to pause the worst outbreak in fighting between Israel and Hamas in year. “Blinken will meet with Israeli leaders about our ironclad commitment to Israel’s security.

He will continue our administration’s efforts to rebuild ties to, and support for, the Palestinian people and leaders after years of neglect,” Biden said in a statement released by the White House.—AFP