Blinken heads to Israel to 'solidify' Gaza ceasefire

Biden dispatches Secretary of State to ensure 'immediate assistance' reaches Gaza and to 'solidify' ceasefire.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken
State Department Photo by Freddie Everett

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will visit the Middle East this week, with stops in Jerusalem, Ramallah, Cairo, and Amman, Blinken announced Monday.

President Joe Biden instructed Blinken to head to the region to ensure the transfer of aid to the Gaza Strip, and to 'solidify' the ceasefire.

"I have asked SecState Blinken to travel to the Middle East this week," Biden tweeted. "He will coordinate international effort to ensure immediate assistance reaches Gaza in a way that benefits the people there & not Hamas, and on reducing the risk of further conflict in the coming months."

Later on Monday, Blinken said that his upcoming trip would focus on talks with Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Egypt, and Jordan aimed at ending "the hostilities and reduc[ing] tensions."

"At the request of President Biden, I am traveling to Jerusalem, Ramallah, Cairo, and Amman to meet with the parties to support their efforts to solidify a ceasefire. The United States has engaged in intensive diplomacy to bring an end to the hostilities and reduce tensions."

Following is the official State Department statement:

Secretary Blinken is undertaking this trip at the request of President Biden. He will first travel to Jerusalem, where he will meet with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, and other senior Israeli officials. In Ramallah, he will meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh, and other senior officials from the Palestinian Authority. Secretary Blinken will then travel to Cairo to meet with President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi and Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry. The Secretary will conclude his trip with a stop in Amman to meet with His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan and Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi.

The United States has engaged in intensive diplomacy to bring an end to the hostilities in Gaza. Secretary Blinken is traveling to the region to discuss essential follow-up efforts to consolidate the ceasefire and reduce risks of further conflict over the coming months.