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Blinken Urges Hamas to Accept Israel’s Cease-Fire Proposal

WorldBlinken Urges Hamas to Accept Israel’s Cease-Fire Proposal

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke with Arab officials on Monday in Saudi Arabia about the war between Israel and Hamas and the difficult issues it has created, from humanitarian aid to hostages. Mr. Blinken plans to travel to Jordan and Israel on Tuesday.

After landing in Riyadh, the Saudi capital, shortly after dawn, Mr. Blinken met with Prince Faisal bin Farhan, the foreign minister of Saudi Arabia, and then with foreign ministers and a top foreign policy adviser from five other Arab nations in the Persian Gulf that, along with Saudi Arabia, form the Gulf Cooperation Council. Prince Faisal was also part of that second meeting. On Monday night Mr. Blinken met with Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman.

The State Department listed the cease-fire and hostage issues first in the summary it released of Mr. Blinken’s one-on-one meeting with the prince. The two “discussed ongoing efforts to reach an immediate cease-fire in Gaza that would secure the release of hostages held by Hamas,” the department said.

The two diplomats also talked about greater regional integration and “a pathway to a Palestinian state with security guarantees for Israel,” the summary said. That was a reference to negotiations over a broad deal that would involve the United States, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Palestinian representatives agreeing to terms that would result in the creation of a Palestinian state and greater diplomatic recognition for Israel in the region.

Mr. Blinken planned to meet with Arab and European officials in a group later on Monday to talk about plans for rebuilding Gaza, even though Israel is still carrying out its war there and has not stepped back from its difficult — and perhaps impossible — goal of fully eradicating Hamas.

Saudi Arabia is hosting a three-day meeting of the World Economic Forum, and top Arab officials, including Mr. Blinken’s diplomatic counterparts, are attending the event in Riyadh. The gathering includes senior ministers from Qatar and Egypt, the two Arab mediators in multiple rounds of talks over a potential cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.

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