US Secretary of State Antony Blinken says that restoring calm between Israel and the Palestinians, following a weekend of deadly violence in Jerusalem and the West Bank, is a top priority.
“The most important thing in the near term is to try to get some calm,” Blinken says in an interview with Al Arabiya while in Cairo — the first stop on a trip through the region.
He will arrive in Jerusalem tomorrow for meetings with senior Israeli leaders, followed by a sit-down with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday in Ramallah.
“I’ll have more to say about that in the next couple of days when we go there. I think we’ve seen horrific terrorist attacks in the last couple of days that we condemn and deplore. President Biden has spoken to this. We also see civilian loss of life that is very deeply disturbing,” Blinken tells the Saudi broadcaster.
“I want the chance to speak to the Israeli government, to the Palestinian Authority leadership, to hear from people as well who are being affected by this in their daily lives,” he adds.