WASHINGTON - U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will visit the Middle East in the coming days after Thursday's implementation of an Israeli-Palestinian cease-fire.
According to the State Department, Blinken will meet with Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, as well as other Israeli, Palestinian and regional counterparts to discuss Gaza recovery efforts and "working together to build better futures for Israelis and Palestinians."
The State Department did not specify which countries or leaders Blinken would meet with during his trip, though he spoke over the past two weeks with counterparts from Jordan, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Tunisia, Morocco, Qatar and Bahrain.
Blinken also spoke with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas regarding measures that could be taken to ensure the cease-fire holds, the State Department said.
During his remarks on the cease-fire Thursday, President Joe Biden highlighted Blinken's intensive work over the past several days, adding that the U.S. is committed to working with the United Nations and other international stakeholders to provide rapid humanitarian assistance for Palestinians in Gaza.
Israel and Hamas agreed on a “mutual and simultaneous” truce that went into effect at 2 A.M. Friday, following 11 days of exchanges which left 12 Israelis and at least 243 Palestinians dead.