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US State Secretary Blinken to travel to Saudi Arabia next week

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U.S. Secretary for State Antony Blinken will visit Saudi Arabia on Monday and Tuesday to meet with regional partners and discuss efforts to achieve a ceasefire in Gaza and the release of Israeli hostages, the State Department said on Saturday.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken gestures, as he and his wife Evan Ryan board a plane at the U.S. Naval Support Activity base, after the G7 foreign ministers summit on Capri island, in Naples, Italy, April 19, 2024. Reuters/Ciro De Luca

U.S. Secretary for State Antony Blinken will visit Saudi Arabia on Monday and Tuesday to meet with regional partners and discuss efforts to achieve a ceasefire in Gaza and the release of Israeli hostages, the State Department said on Saturday.

"He will discuss the recent increase in humanitarian assistance being delivered to Gaza and underscore the importance of ensuring that increase is sustained," the State Department said in a statement.

"The Secretary will also emphasize the importance of preventing the conflict from spreading and discuss ongoing efforts to achieve lasting peace and security in the region, including through a pathway to an independent Palestinian state with security guarantees for Israel."

Reporting By Lucia Mutikani and Eric Beech

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