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Sunday, April 2, 2023

Blinken embarks on a 3-day tour of the Middle East


Secretary of State Anthony Blinken arrived in the Middle East on Sunday, beginning a three-day visit amid clashes between Israelis and Palestinians. On the program of Blinken’s visit are Iran and the war in Ukraine.

After a stopover in Cairo, Blinken will travel to Jerusalem on Monday to negotiate with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s new Israeli administration, which includes ultra-nationalist parties that want to expand settlements in the West Bank.

Blinken will reiterate US calls for calm and stress Washington’s support for a two-state solution, although US officials acknowledge that long-term peace talks are unlikely in the near future.

On Friday, a Palestinian gunman killed seven people in an attack outside a synagogue in Jerusalem. It is the most serious incident in the Jerusalem area since 2008, following the deadliest Israeli raid on the West Bank city of Jenin on Thursday in years.

Blinken will also travel to Ramallah to meet Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, other Palestinian officials and representatives of civil society.

Earlier, Ukraine turned to Israel with a request to provide systems to shoot down drones, including those Iran provides to Russia.

Israel has rejected these demands. Although Jerusalem condemned the Russian invasion, it limited itself to providing humanitarian aid and protective equipment, citing a desire to continue working with Moscow on Syria and to ensure the well-being of Russian Jews.

Diplomats will also discuss Iran’s nuclear program as efforts by the Biden administration to revive the 2015 nuclear deal have stalled and there is no other plan to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. weapons.

In Cairo, Blinken will meet with Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sissi and Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri. During the visit, Blinken is expected to raise the subject of human rights. The Biden administration has failed to provide millions of dollars in military aid to Egypt due to its failure to meet human rights conditions.

Copyright © 2023 The Eastern Herald.

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