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Arab ministers, Palestinian official brief Blinken on vision for two-state solution

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Arab ministers and a top Palestinian official briefed U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday on their vision for a ceasefire in Gaza followed by concrete measures to implement a two-state solution, Egypt's foreign ministry said.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken poses with Secretary-General of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) Hussein Al-Sheikh, Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah, Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani, Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation Reem Ebrahim Al Hashimy and Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry in Cairo, Egypt March 21, 2024. Reuters/Evelyn Hockstein

Arab ministers and a top Palestinian official briefed U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday on their vision for a ceasefire in Gaza followed by concrete measures to implement a two-state solution, Egypt's foreign ministry said.

The group that met Blinken in Cairo included the foreign ministers of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Jordan, as well as the UAE minister for international cooperation and senior Palestinian Authority figure Hussein al-Sheikh.

Sheikh is general secretary of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO), a confidant of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and an intermediary in contacts with Israel.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) currently exercises limited control of the occupied West Bank but the United States and Arab nations have been pushing for it to be "revitalised" and play a role in administering Gaza once fighting ends.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has expressed strong opposition to PA involvement in running the enclave.

Experts will meet in the coming days to decide steps to address the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, and the group that met Blinken stressed their opposition to any displacement of Palestinians from their land, the ministry said in a statement.

Earlier in the day, Blinken met Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to discuss negotiations to secure an immediate ceasefire in the war, now in its sixth month, and the release of all hostages kidnapped by Hamas, the Palestinian militant group that runs Gaza, State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said.

They also discussed the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with security guarantees for Israel.

Blinken had met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday.

Reporting by Nayera Abdallah, Yomna Ehab, Enas Alashray

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