Blinken in Jordan: Gaza crisis and peace talks on agenda

According to a senior source in his team, the US ambassador will also pay a visit to a World Food Program (WFP) facility located in the capital of Jordan.

As part of his fourth trip to the Middle East since the war in Gaza Strip erupted on October 7, the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, landed in Amman this Sunday. He will meet with the King of Jordan, Abdullah II, and his counterpart, Ayman Safadi. A senior US official in his delegation said that Blinken will also go to a World Food Program (WFP) center in the Jordanian capital.

The US official spoke to Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in the town of Chania, on the island of Crete, and said: “We must prevent the conflict from spreading.”

He also expressed his concern about the border between Israel and Lebanon and said: “We want to do everything we can to avoid any escalation.”

Jordanian state television Al Mamlaka reported that Safadi will talk to Blinken about “the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaza” and will urge him to “stop the Israeli attacks immediately,” as well as to ensure the protection of civilians and the continuous delivery of humanitarian aid to the area.

Blinken mentioned the “crucial role” that Turkey can have in this matter, after meeting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday in Istanbul. He said: “We want to make sure that countries that share our views use their connections, their influence, their relations with some of the parties that may be involved to maintain calm, to prevent the conflict from spreading.”

Blinken will leave Jordan on Sunday and head to Qatar, which was instrumental in the ceasefire that in late November led to the release of Israeli captives held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

The spokesperson for the Jordanian Foreign Ministry, Sufyan al Qudah, said that the Jordanian foreign minister will restate “the strong Jordanian stance of opposing the displacement of Palestinians,” in response to recent remarks by Israeli ministers on the recapture of Loop.

He will also oppose any proposal to deal with the future of the Strip “from a security perspective and outside the framework of a full and comprehensive plan based on the unity of Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem”, while emphasizing the need to create a Palestinian state to end the war.

Blinken will finish the day on Sunday in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates.

On Monday, the US Secretary of State will visit Saudi Arabia and Israel, where he will have discussions that, he admitted, “will be difficult.”

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