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US Secretary of State Blinken engages Türkiye, Jordan, Saudi Arabia on Gaza cease-fire proposal

US Secretary of State Blinken engages Türkiye, Jordan, Saudi Arabia on Gaza cease-fire proposal
Jun 1, 2024 6:34 PM

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken discussed President Joe Biden’s Gaza Strip cease-fire proposal with counterparts from Türkiye, Jordan and Saudi Arabia in separate telephone calls Friday.

The State Department said in a statement that Blinken and Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan spoke about the proposal to achieve an immediate cease-fire in Gaza, secure the release of all hostages and end the war.

“They discussed the deal’s extensive benefits for the people of Gaza, including a massive influx of humanitarian assistance, the return of Palestinians to North Gaza, and the beginning of the reconstruction of Gaza,” said the statement.

It said Blinken underscored that the proposal is in the interests of Israelis and Palestinians.

“He emphasized that Hamas should accept the deal and that every country with a relationship with Hamas should press it to do so without delay,” it said.

In his call with Jordan’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, Ayman Safadi, Blinken outlined how the deal would facilitate a massive surge of humanitarian assistance, allow the return of Palestinians to North Gaza and begin the reconstruction of Gaza, among other benefits.

Blinken “emphasized that Hamas should accept the deal without delay. Secretary Blinken thanked Jordan for its leadership in providing life-saving humanitarian aid to Palestinian civilians,” said spokesperson Matthew Miller.

In a call with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, Blinken conveyed the same thoughts he shared with Fidan and Safadi.

Blinken and Al Saud “discussed how the proposed deal would further ongoing efforts to achieve lasting peace and security in the Middle East, including through greater integration among countries in the region and a pathway to a Palestinian state with security guarantees for Israel,” said Miller.

Biden said earlier that Israel presented the Palestinian resistance group, Hamas, with a three-phase deal that would end hostilities in the besieged Gaza Strip and secure the release of hostages held in the coastal enclave.

The US president appealed to Hamas to accept the deal and urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to stave off pressure from members of his governing coalition who are opposed to the plan.

More than 36,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since Israel began its onslaught nearly eight months ago. The majority of those killed have been women and children, with more than 82,000 others injured, according to local health authorities.

The Hamas-led Oct. 7 attack killed less than 1,200 people.

Vast swathes of Gaza lay in ruins amid Israel’s crippling blockade of food, clean water and medicine.

Israel is accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which in its latest ruling has ordered Tel Aviv to immediately halt its operation in Rafah where more than 1 million Palestinians had sought refuge from the war.

Last Updated:  Jun 5, 2024 3:59 PM