Blinken Meets Egypt's Sissi as U.S. Seeks to Secure Gaza Cease-fire

Egypt has longstanding relations with both sides in the conflict and played a key role in brokering the cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, in coordination with the United States

Reuters
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Secretary of State Antony Blinken, left, is seated during a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi at the Heliopolis Presidential Palace, today.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken, left, is seated during a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi at the Heliopolis Presidential Palace, today.Credit: Alex Brandon,AP
Reuters

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met top officials in Cairo on Wednesday during a Middle East tour aimed at shoring up a cease-fire that ended the worst fighting in years between Israel and Palestinian militants.

Egypt has longstanding relations with both sides in the conflict and played a key role in brokering the cease-fire after 11 days of violence, in coordination with the United States.

In a brief visit, Blinken met Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al- Sissi, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and general intelligence head Abbas Kamel at the presidential palace in Cairo. He made no comments to media ahead of the meeting.

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Blinken arrived in Egypt after stops in Jerusalem and Ramallah and is also due to visit Jordan. On Tuesday, he pledged that the United States would provide new aid to help rebuild the Gaza Strip, including $5.5 million in immediate disaster relief and nearly $33 million for the UN Palestinian aid agency based there.

He also said the United States intended to ensure that Hamas, which controls Gaza and is listed by Washington as a terrorist organization, did not benefit from the humanitarian aid.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Israel on Tuesday in a bid to consolidate the cease-fire between Israel and Hamas and ensure a long-term cessation of violence in the volatile Middle East.

Blinken traveled to the Middle East in an effort to create a mechanism to deliver aid to residents of the Gaza Strip without the involvement of Hamas. He has already visited Jerusalem, where he met Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz, as well as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh, whom he met in Ramallah. After his departure from Cairo, Blinken is expected to visit Amman.

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