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Blinken on new Mideast trip 'in coming days': US official

By AFP

January 31, 2024 09:08 PM


 

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will return shortly to the Middle East, a US official said Wednesday, as negotiations gather steam on a proposal to halt Israel's offensive and free Hamas-held hostages.

Blinken will return to the region "in the coming days," a US official said on condition of anonymity, without specifying the destinations or dates.

It will be Blinken's fifth trip to the region since October 7, when Hamas fighters carried out an unprecedented attack inside Israel, which has responded with an unrelenting military campaign in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

Blinken on each trip has customarily visited both Israel and a number of Arab countries.

The latest trip comes as Israel and Hamas consider a proposal that would freeze the fighting in return for the release of hostages.

Blinken on Monday said there was "real hope" for what he called a "good, strong proposal" mediated through Qatar.

Also Wednesday, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan was to meet in Washington with Israeli Minister of Strategic Affairs Ron Dermer, a close ally of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.


AFP


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