U.S. says primary focus is to ensure Gaza ceasefire holds
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will focus primarily on ensuring that a ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinians holds during his visit to the region later on Monday, and work to get assistance delivered to the people of Gaza, a senior State Department official said.
Washington has "every hope and expectation" that the ceasefire, brokered by Egypt and now in its fourth day after 11 days of hostilities, will hold, the U.S. official said in a call with reporters but said it was too early for wider peace talks.
"Our primary focus is on maintaining the ceasefire, getting the assistance to the people who needed," the official said.
"The United States remains committed to the two-state solution...We are not wavering from that in any way. It’s probably premature at this time to invite the parties to Washington or anywhere else," Reuters cited the official as saying.
Blinken will travel to Jerusalem, Ramallah, Cairo and Amman through Thursday and meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and Jordan’s King Abdullah.