Saturday, November 27, 2021

Blinken Meets with Israeli, Palestinian leaders

JERUSALEM – US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Israeli leaders in Jerusalem and Palestinian leaders in Ramallah on Tuesday as part of an effort to build on a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas that went into effect late last week. .

“Even though we were with the parties and partners to reach a ceasefire, we were also focused on the way forward, including steps we could take to build a better future for Israelis and Palestinians,” Blinken said as he depart for what is there. a multi-nation visit to the Middle East. This is his first time going to the region as the top US diplomat.

His schedule on Tuesday includes meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, as well as Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh.

US President Joe Biden said in a statement on Monday that Blinken “will meet with Israeli leaders on our ironclad commitment to Israel’s security” and “will continue our government’s efforts to establish ties with and support for the Palestinian people. and rebuilding leaders, continuing after years of neglect. ”

Biden said the United States would work with local partners to ensure immediate aid reaches Gaza in a way that benefits the people there and not Hamas. ‘

“Our focus now is relentlessly on dealing with the humanitarian situation, to begin reconstruction and reconstruction, and to deal intensively with everyone, with Palestinians, with Israelis, and partners in the region,” Blinken told Sunday. CNN said.

Stop in Egypt, Jordan

Blinken’s trip to the Middle East will include a visit to Egypt, which mediated the ceasefire between Israel and the Hamas-led Palestinian militants. He will meet with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi and Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry.

Egyptian mediators traveled across the Gaza border and met with Abbas in an effort to maintain the ceasefire.

As Israel-Hamas ceases firearms, Egypt mediates long-term repression

Diplomatic initiative comes after 11 days of fighting, with both sides winning

Blinken will end his trip with a stop in Amman to meet with Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi.

At the United Nations, members of the Security Council welcomed the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas and called for a renewed peace “based on the vision of a region where two democratic states, Israel and Palestine, live side by side in peace with secure and recognized borders ”in a statement over the weekend.

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Some experts have said that a ceasefire will not address the long-term issues that plague the decades-long conflict.

“The United States must state its position on what a viable, sovereign and neighboring Palestinian state will look like,” and “set out what actions it considers detrimental to the prospect of a two-state solution,” wrote former Egyptian diplomatic ambassador Hesham Youssef, who is now a senior fellow at the United States Institute for Peace.

‘Hope to live in safety and dignity’

With the immediate conflict stopped, Blinken said Sunday the United States believes it is time for a settlement that provides “equal measures of rights for the Israelis and Palestinians”.

He told ABC’s “This Week” show that Palestinians “must feel hope to live in security and dignity in a Palestinian state.” He said U.S. President Joe Biden “remains committed to a two-state solution,” with a separate state of Palestine, but acknowledges that it “is not necessarily something for today.”

Blinken blamed the Hamas militants for the recent fighting, saying, “Hamas has brought nothing but destruction to the Palestinian people.”

The Biden government said a two-state solution was the only solution to the conflict between the two parties.

“Let us get something right here: until the region unequivocally states that it recognizes Israel’s right to exist as an independent Jewish state, there will be no peace,” Biden said Friday during a joint press conference with the visit of South Korean President Moon Jae -in.

Biden also said that it was essential to ensure the security of Palestinians in the West Bank and help the people of Gaza.

Washington has said it will work with the Palestinian Authority to rebuild Gaza, but not with Hamas, and “in a way that Hamas cannot allow itself to be re-armed.” This is seen as a difficult plan as the Hamas-led Palestinian militants control Gaza.

Hamas has been firing rockets at Israeli cities from Gaza since May 10, because it says Israel has violated rights against Palestinians in Jerusalem.

Israel has retaliated with targeted artillery and airstrikes on Hamas leaders and the group’s infrastructure. The Israelis faced international condemnation for blowing up tall buildings and striking refugee camps and other targets, causing major civilian casualties.

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