Blinken departs for Egypt, seeks Gaza ceasefire in meetings with regional leaders

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken departed Saudi Arabia for Egypt on Thursday, March 21, following discussions with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Jeddah the previous day. Their talks focused on efforts to achieve a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, according to Saudi Arabian media.

In Cairo, Blinken is slated to meet with the foreign ministers of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Jordan, as well as the UAE’s minister of international cooperation and a senior Palestinian official. These meetings, detailed in a note from the Egyptian foreign ministry, aim to address the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on Tuesday, March 19, rejected a request from President Joe Biden to cancel plans for a ground offensive in Rafah. The city, located on Gaza’s southern border, is home to over half of the territory’s 2.3 million residents.