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Blinken Off To Mideast To Push Peace Talks After Gaza Truce

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In this May 18, 2021 photo, Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a joint press conference following meetings with the Icelandic Foreign Minister Gudlaugur Thor Thordarson, at the Harpa Concert Hall in Reykjavik, Iceland. Blinken is heading to the Middle East to press the Israelis, Palestinians and regional players to build on last week’s Gaza cease-fire by laying the groundwork for a resumption in long-stalled peace talks. (Saul Loeb/Pool Photo via AP)

(AP) — Secretary of State Antony Blinken is heading to the Middle East to press the Israelis, Palestinians and regional players to build on last week’s Gaza cease-fire by laying the groundwork for a resumption in long-stalled peace talks. President Joe Biden says Blinken departs Monday for a short visit to Israel, the West Bank, Jordan and Egypt. It will be the Biden administration’s highest-level in-person meetings on the crisis that erupted this month. The administration was roundly criticized for its perceived hands-off initial response to the deadly violence, including from Democratic allies in Congress who demanded it take a tougher line on Israel and its response to rocket attacks from Palestinian militant groups in Gaza.

 

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