Following his meetings in Riyadh with the Saudi crown prince and foreign minister, the US secretary of state is set to embark on visits to Egypt, Qatar, Israel, and the Israeli-occupied West Bank later this week.
During his visits to Egypt and Qatar, he aims to facilitate progress in the Egyptian and Qatari-mediated dialogue with Hamas, with a focus on securing a hostage deal and a ceasefire in the Gaza conflict. Discussions regarding a truce have already taken place among US, Israeli, Egyptian, and Qatari officials.
The current regional tour by Blinken comes in the wake of criticism leveled against the US by Israel’s National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, who expressed dissatisfaction with what he perceived as insufficient support from Israel’s ally. This criticism arose following the Biden administration’s imposition of sanctions on four settlers amid escalating violence against Palestinian civilians in the occupied West Bank.