Tel Aviv: On arrival in Israel within days of the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, the terror outfit operating from Gaza, the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken reaffirmed the strong commitment of United States to Israel’s security, to the partnership between the two countries, to move forward now on dealing with the “humanitarian situation” , starting the work to rebuild Gaza and to re-engage with the Palestinian community and Palestinian Authority. He expressed the hope that things will start moving in a positive direction to bring about material progress in the lives of both Israelis and Palestinians.
Blinken said he has spent a lot of time on the phone with the Israeli Foreign Minister over these past months and certainly over the last few weeks.
Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi welcomed Blinken on his first official visit to Israel and and said the United States is Israel’s closest ally. I’m committed, as I’m sure the Secretary too is, for expanding the relationship, he said and thanked the US President and the Secretary of State and his team for their unwavering support of the State of Israel. He particularly thanked the US for the dedicated and close relation and involvement during recent days.
Earlier, Blinken spoke with UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed. Both expressed their support for the ceasefire between Israel, Hamas, and other parties in Gaza. Blinken especially thanked the UAE Foreign Minister for his efforts to de-escalate the conflict and discussed the need to explore new paths to achieve peace. He also flagged the importance of reconstruction efforts in Gaza.
Simulataneously, Blinken spoke with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas. Secretary Blinken and Foreign Minister Maas discussed coordination on next steps to respond to events in Belarus and relief efforts in Gaza, as well as the importance of revitalizing the NATO Alliance through an ambitious NATO 2030 process. The Secretary also reiterated U.S. concerns about the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.