Blinken to travel to Saudi Arabia to discuss cease-fire efforts

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Secretary of State Antony Blinken will travel to Saudi Arabia next week to discuss cease-fire efforts, the State Department said on Saturday. 

Blinken’s trip on Monday comes as Egypt, Qatar, Israel and Hamas have not managed to reach a cease-fire and the release of hostages over having different demands. 

Apart from discussions about a cease-fire in Gaza, Blinken will talk about the increased delivery of humanitarian aid into Gaza and the “importance” of it being “sustained.” 

“The Secretary will discuss ongoing efforts to achieve a ceasefire in Gaza that secures the release of hostages and how it is Hamas that is standing between the Palestinian people and a ceasefire,” State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said in a statement on Saturday. “He will discuss the recent increase in humanitarian assistance being delivered to Gaza and underscore the importance of ensuring that increase is sustained. 

“The Secretary 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,” Miller said. 

U.S. officials are pushing for the release of around 40 hostages held by Hamas of the more than 100 for a six-week cease-fire and freeing Palestinian prisoners. 

“The Secretary will participate in a Ministerial meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council to advance coordination on regional security,” Miller said.   

“At the World Economic Forum’s special meeting on Global Collaboration, Growth, and Energy for Development, the Secretary will coordinate with our partners to ensure continued progress on climate change mitigation and the global energy transition.” 

Blinken previously met with Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in March where he discussed the need to increase the flow of humanitarian aid into Gaza.

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