US Secretary Antony Blinken arrives in Saudi Arabia; to push for Gaza ceasefire talks

Riyadh: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Riyadh on Monday as part of his travel to Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Israel.

In Saudi Arabia, Blinken will participate in a Ministerial meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council to advance coordination on regional security, the US State Department said.

At the World Economic Forum’s special meeting on global collaboration, growth, and energy for Development, Blinken will coordinate with US partners to ensure continued progress on climate change mitigation and the global energy transition.

During his April 29-May 1 visit to meet Arab partners of the US, Blinken will discuss ongoing efforts to achieve a ceasefire in Gaza that secures the release of hostages.

The US Secretary of State will discuss the recent increase in humanitarian assistance being delivered to Gaza and underscore the importance of ensuring that increase is sustained.

Blinken will also emphasize the importance of preventing the conflict from spreading and discuss ongoing efforts to achieve lasting peace and security in the region, including through a pathway to an independent Palestinian state with security guarantees for Israel, the US State Department said.
The State Department announced that the top American diplomat will also travel to Israel and Jordan.

Blinken arrived in Riyadh hours after US President Joe Biden and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu spoke by telephone about ongoing talks to halt Israel’s offensive in the Gaza Strip in return for the release of hostages.

CNN reported that a senior State Department official told reporters travelling with Blinken on Sunday that he will meet with Saudi officials and foreign ministers from the region regarding the future of Gaza.

Blinken told CNN in an interview earlier that it could be possible to roll out a framework for the normalization of relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia along with a two-state solution proposal for Israel and the Palestinians before a ceasefire is in place.

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