Blinken in S. Arabia to discuss aftermath of Gaza war

Will later visit Israel to press Netanyahu to take steps President Biden demanded this month to improve dire humanitarian situation.

Photo: file

RIYADH (REUTERS): US Secretary of State Antony Blinken reached Saudi Arabia as part of his trip to  Middle East to discuss issues including the governance of Gaza once the conflict with Israel ends.

Blinken heads to Israel later this week where he is expected to press Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to take the concrete and tangible steps US President Joe Biden demanded this month to improve the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza.

In Riyadh, Blinken is expected to meet with senior Saudi leaders and hold a wider meeting with counterparts from five Arab states Qatar, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan to further the discussions on what governance of the Gaza Strip would look like after the offensive, according to a senior State Department official.

Blinken is also expected to bring together Arab countries with the European states and discuss how Europe can help the rebuilding effort of the tiny enclave, which has been reduced to a wasteland in the six-month long Israeli bombardment.

Conversations over Gaza’s rebuilding and governance have been going on for months with a clear mechanism yet to emerge.

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