Home Uncategorized US Secretary Antony Blinken to Visit Egypt to Advocate for Gaza Ceasefire

US Secretary Antony Blinken to Visit Egypt to Advocate for Gaza Ceasefire

The diplomat's trip coincides with Israeli Minister Benny Gantz's resignation from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government on Sunday.

by Jamsheera
US secretary of State

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is scheduled to arrive in Cairo on Monday, June 9, during a critical period as Washington seeks to increase pressure on Hamas and Israel to reach a ceasefire in Gaza and prevent the conflict from spreading to Lebanon.

In his eighth visit to the region, the top US diplomat will also travel to Israel, Jordan, and Qatar this week.

On May 31, US President Joe Biden outlined a three-phase ceasefire proposal for Israel. The plan envisions a permanent end to hostilities, the release of Israeli hostages and Palestinian prisoners, and the reconstruction of Gaza.

Blinken’s trip comes as Israeli Minister Benny Gantz announced his resignation from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s emergency government on Sunday, withdrawing the only centrist influence from the embattled leader’s otherwise far-right coalition during the Gaza war.

During the trip this week, Blinken will discuss with partners the need to reach a ceasefire agreement that secures the release of all hostages and prevents the conflict from escalating further, State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said in a statement on Friday.

He will emphasize the importance of Hamas accepting the proposal on the table, Miller added.

US officials say that since it is an Israeli plan, Israel is likely to accept it. Qatar has stated that Israel needs to provide a clear position on the plan that represents the entire government, as some parts have opposed any kind of truce.

Hamas has expressed a positive view of the proposed plan’s contents but criticized Washington for what it described as attempts to blame the Palestinian militant group for hindering it.

Ceasefire talks have intensified since Biden’s speech, and CIA Director William Burns met senior officials from mediators Qatar and Egypt on Wednesday in Doha to discuss the plan.

Biden has repeatedly declared that ceasefires were close over the past several months, but there has been only one week-long truce, in November.

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