US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will visit Israel next week amid rising terror
Blinken is set to discuss Israeli-Palestinian relations, mention the two-state solution in his meetings with Netanyahu and Abbas
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is expected to arrive in Israel on Monday, just a few days after the country saw a deadly terror attack in Jerusalem and a violent escalation with Gaza.
Ahead of his visit, the U.S. State Department strongly condemned the attack, saying it was “absolutely horrific."
U.S. State Department spokesperson Vedant Patel added: "We condemn this apparent terrorist attack in the strongest terms. Our commitment to Israel's security remains ironclad, and we are in direct touch with our Israeli partners."
Blinken is slated to meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Eli Cohen and other senior leaders to discuss the enduring U.S. support for Israel’s security, particularly against threats from Iran and Israel’s deepening integration into the region – according to a statement from the U.S. State Department.
Blinken will also travel to the West Bank, where he will meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to discuss “Israeli-Palestinian relations and the importance of a two-state solution, political reforms and further strengthening the U.S. relationship with the Palestinian people and leadership.”
In his conversations with Israeli and Palestinian officials, Blinken is expected to “underscore the urgent need for the parties to take steps to deescalate tensions in order to put an end to the cycle of violence that has claimed too many innocent lives,” added the statement.
He also will discuss the importance of “upholding the historic status quo the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount in Jerusalem, in words and in actions.”
Blinken’s visit comes two weeks after National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan held a series of talks with Israeli officials. Israel’s Channel 12 news reported that Netanyahu told Sullivan the judicial reforms under consideration by the government would be softened.
Prior to his arrival, Blinken will make a stop in Cairo, Egypt to meet with President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and senior Egyptian officials. The focus of his visit will be about advancing the U.S.-Egypt strategic partnership and promoting peace and security in the region, according to U.S. State Department Spokesperson Ned Price.
In addition, Blinken will consult with partners on a range of global and regional priorities, including Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the protection of human rights and democratic values, among other topics.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.