AMMAN: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will visit Turkey for two days starting Sunday as part of his Middle East tour amid the Hamas-Israel war.
Blinken met with his Arab counterparts in Jordan’s capital Amman on Saturday, following his visit to Israel the previous day.
But he left Israel empty-handed on Friday after calling on its leaders to do more to protect civilians in the Gaza Strip during Israel’s war to destroy Hamas.
Hamas Health Ministry announced that 15 people died in the UN school in Gaza in the Israeli attack
Israeli officials said Hamas killed about 1,400 people, mostly civilians, and took more than 240 hostage, including Israelis, foreigners and dual citizens.
The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry says more than 9,400 people, mostly children and women, have been killed in Israeli bombings.
In Turkey, Blinken will “emphasize the importance of protecting civilian lives in Israel and the Gaza Strip,” the U.S. State Department said Saturday.
He will also discuss “our shared determination to facilitate the increased and sustained delivery of life-saving humanitarian assistance to civilians in Gaza and to ensure that Palestinians are not forcibly displaced out of Gaza.”
He will also discuss ways to “stop violence, calm discourse, reduce regional tensions” and work for “a lasting and sustainable peace in the Middle East, including the establishment of the state of Palestine.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday that he had cut off all contacts with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu due to Israel’s actions in the Gaza Strip.
The State Department did not confirm in a statement that a meeting between Blinken and the Turkish president seemed likely to take place, according to US officials traveling with him.
According to the same source, the senior US diplomat will also discuss Ukraine in Ankara and the finalization of Sweden’s NATO membership, which Turkey has blocked for a long time.
Erdoğan recently presented the protocol regarding Sweden’s accession to NATO to the Turkish Grand National Assembly after 17 months of deadlock, but the process has not been completed yet.
news source (www.brecorder.com)