Blinken wraps up Qatar visit, heads to Israel tomorrow

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US bureau chief

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has wrapped up his meeting with Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani in Doha, during which the two discussed efforts to secure the release of the hostages through an extended humanitarian pause in Gaza.

“Blinken and the Emir agreed to continue close coordination to increase humanitarian assistance to civilians in Gaza and to urge the protection of civilians consistent with humanitarian law,” the US readout says.

Blinken “reiterated the US rejection of any forced displacement of Palestinians from Gaza and underscored the US commitment to establishing durable peace in the Middle East, including the establishment of a Palestinian state that ensures security for Israelis and Palestinians alike.”

Qatar is Blinken’s third stop of five during this week’s Middle East tour after Saudi Arabia and Egypt. He’ll be in Israel and the West Bank tomorrow and Wednesday before returning home.

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