Politics & News

Blinken Arrives in Saudi Arabia to Discuss Post-war Gaza

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken arrived in Saudi Arabia on Monday, his first stop in a wider Mideast tour to discuss issues including the governance of Gaza after the war, reported Reuters.

While in Riyadh, Blinken is expected to meet with senior Saudi leaders and hold a wider meeting with counterparts from 5 Arab states: Qatar, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan. According to a senior State Department official, the meeting aims to further the discussions on what the governance of post-war Gaza would look like.

The top US diplomat is expected to bring together Arab and European states to discuss how Europe can contribute to the rebuilding effort of the Gaza Strip, which has been turned into ruins as a result of the ongoing Israeli bombardment.

A group of European nations, including Norway, are planning to recognize the Palestinian State in conjunction with the presentation of an Arab state-backed peace plan to the United Nations.

The Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide told Reuters: “We can see by joining forces we can make this more meaningful. We really want to recognize the Palestinian state, but we know that is something you do once.”

Later this week, Blinken will head to Jordan and Israel. In Amman, he will meet with senior Jordanian officials and humanitarian groups to learn about the improvements and what more needs to be done to mitigate the dire humanitarian conditions in Gaza.

In Israel, Blinken is expected to press Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to respond to US President Joe Biden demands this month to take steps to address humanitarian suffering, and the safety of aid workers.

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