Sunday, April 14, 2024

Blinken to visit ME, North Africa to discuss Iran, Russia

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will travel to the Middle East and North Africa next week. The top US diplomat will use the trip to coordinate with US allies on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, “Iran’s destabilizing activities”, the Abraham Accords, and efforts to improve Israeli-Palestinian ties.

Blinken will travel to Israel, the West Bank, Morocco, and Algeria from March 26-30 to consult with partners on a range of regional and global priorities, including the Russian government’s war on Ukraine, the State Department said.

His visit will also focus on “Iran’s destabilizing activities, the Abraham Accords and normalization agreements with Israel, Israeli-Palestinian relations, and preserving the possibility of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, among other topics,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price stated on Thursday.

The State Department added that Blinken will emphasize to all of the foreign leaders he meets that the United States stands in solidarity with the government and people of Ukraine as the Kremlin’s aggression continues in Europe.

“We will continue to work closely with our allies and partners to impose further costs on Putin and his enablers if Putin does not change course,” Price continued.

Blinken will begin his foreign visit in Israel and the West Bank, where he is scheduled to meet Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and other senior members of government. He will also meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah.

According to Price, “he will emphasize the importance of strengthening US-Palestinian relations, and advancing freedom, security and prosperity for the Palestinian people.”

Blinken will then go to Morocco to meet with his counterpart there, Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita, and other senior government officials. He will exchange views on regional issues and bilateral cooperation, as well as advancing human rights and fundamental freedoms.

He is also scheduled to meet Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to discuss regional security and international developments in Rabat.

The secretary will then travel to Algiers, Algeria, to meet with President Abdelmadjid Tebboune and Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra.

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SourceThe Hill


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