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Blinken to travel to the Middle East in week-long Gaza diplomacy push

1 min

U.S. top diplomat Antony Blinken will depart on Thursday for a week of diplomacy on Israel’s war in Gaza, visiting Israel and the West Bank, as well as Turkey, Greece, Jordan, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Saul Loeb/Pool via Reuters 

U.S. top diplomat Antony Blinken will depart on Thursday for a week of diplomacy on Israel’s war in Gaza, visiting Israel and the West Bank, as well as Turkey, Greece, Jordan, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Egypt over the next week, State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller told reporters.

The visit comes amid heightened concerns the nearly three-month-old conflict is spreading beyond Gaza, drawing in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, Hezbollah forces on the Lebanon-Israel border, and Red Sea shipping lanes.

Blinken will discuss specific steps parties in the region can take to prevent the conflict from expanding, Miller said at a regular press briefing.

"It is in no one's interest - not Israel's, not the region's, not the world's - for this conflict to spread beyond Gaza," Miller said.

Blinken would also discuss immediate measures to increase humanitarian assistance to Gaza and efforts to bring home remaining hostages taken by Hamas, Miller added.

Reporting by Daphne Psaledakis, Simon Lewis and David Brunnstrom; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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