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Blinken again in Israel/ Talks to extend the ceasefire between Israel and Palestine

2023-11-28 08:49:00, Kosova & Bota CNA

Blinken again in Israel/ Talks to extend the ceasefire between Israel and

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will return to the Middle East this week as the United States hopes to find a way to extend the Gaza ceasefire and free more hostages, the US State Department said.

This will be the third visit to the region by the US top diplomat since the war between Israel and Hamas - the Palestinian group declared a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union - began last month.

Blinken will travel to Israel and the West Bank after holding meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday in Brussels and Skopje, where he will meet with NATO foreign ministers and representatives of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe respectively. (OSCE).

Israel has agreed to pause its military operations in exchange for the gradual release of hostages taken by Hamas in the initial attacks on October 7 in southern Israel. The deal was expected to expire on Monday, but was extended for two more days, meaning it will expire by the time Blinken arrives in Israel. White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Monday that the US hopes to see the pause extended further, but he stressed that depends on whether Hamas continues to release hostages.

In Israel and the West Bank, Blinken "will discuss Israel's right to self-defense, consistent with international humanitarian law, but also ongoing efforts to secure the release of the remaining hostages, the protection of civilian life during of Israel's operations in Gaza and speeding up the delivery of humanitarian aid to civilians in Gaza," DASH spokesman Matthieu Miller said in a statement.

He said Blinken will also discuss principles for post-war Gaza, but also the need to create an independent Palestinian state and prevent the conflict from expanding. In the occupied West Bank, Blinken is expected to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Blinken and other US officials believe the Palestinian Authority should play an important role in governing Gaza after the war ends.

From Israel and the West Bank, Blinken will travel to the United Arab Emirates, where he will discuss with regional leaders who will be participating in the COP28 climate summit.

Blinken has engaged in frantic diplomacy in an attempt to prevent the Gaza conflict from escalating, to expand humanitarian aid to Palestinians in the territory, to secure the release of hostages and to allow foreign nationals and dual nationals to leave. from Gaza to Egypt./ Rel

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