State Department says Blinken, Gantz spoke, US urging ‘as much calm as possible’

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

War cabinet minister Benny Gantz, right, meets with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Tel Aviv, March 22, 2024. (Courtesy)
War cabinet minister Benny Gantz, right, meets with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Tel Aviv, March 22, 2024. (Courtesy)

WASHINGTON — US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke yesterday with war cabinet minister Benny Gantz regarding ongoing tensions between Israel and Iran, State Department spokesman Matthew Miller says.

Blinken reiterated US support for Israel’s security along with Washington’s desire not to see a regional escalation, Miller says.

The Biden administration has avoided publicly telling Israel not to strike back against Iran after last weekend’s missile and drone attack, but privately has urged Israel to ensure that its response doesn’t spark a regional war, according to officials familiar with the matter.

Blinken also discussed the issue with Qatar’s prime minister, Miller says.

“As long as the war in Gaza continues, we’re not going to be back in the place we were before October 7. It is an ongoing process of trying to reduce tensions in the region and try to maintain as much calm as possible, knowing that there’s an ongoing conflict that exacerbated tensions in Israel and around the region,” Miller says.

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