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US diplomat Blinken meets Turkey’s Erdogan, kicking off Gaza diplomacy tour | Israel War on Gaza News

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has met senior Turkish officers in Istanbul, kicking off a week-long journey throughout the Center East geared toward calming tensions which have spiked since Israel’s struggle on Gaza started in October.

In his assembly with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Blinken “emphasised the necessity to forestall the battle from spreading, safe the discharge of hostages, broaden humanitarian help and cut back civilian casualties,” US Division of State spokesperson Matthew Miller mentioned on Saturday.

Blinken additionally pressured the necessity to work in direction of broader, lasting regional peace that ensures Israel’s safety and advances the institution of a Palestinian state, Miller added.

Erdogan, a fierce critic of Israel’s army actions in Gaza, had previously skipped a gathering with Blinken, when the US diplomat visited Ankara in November, over Washington’s staunch backing of Israel’s assault on Gaza.

On Saturday, Blinken additionally met Turkish Overseas Minister Hakan Fidan and discussions targeted on the humanitarian disaster in Gaza, Turkey’s overseas ministry mentioned.

In his dialog with Blinken, Fidan pointed to Israel’s escalating aggression, saying it poses a menace to your complete area. He additionally underlined the need of a right away ceasefire in Gaza, permitting the everlasting supply of assist, and pressured the necessity to return to two-state resolution negotiations as quickly as attainable, the ministry added.


The US’s strained relationship with Turkey precedes the present struggle, with the 2 nations additionally feuding over overseas coverage points starting from NATO to Iraq.

Ankara is pissed off by the delay in approval from the US Congress for a $20bn deal for 40 F-16 fighter jets. Washington is ready for Turkey to ratify Sweden’s bid to affix NATO.

On Saturday, Blinken and Fidan addressed Ankara’s course of to ratify Sweden’s NATO membership, in keeping with a Turkish overseas ministry assertion.

US officers are assured Ankara will quickly approve Sweden’s accession after it received the Turkish parliament’s backing final month, a senior State Division official travelling with Blinken instructed the Reuters information company.

As a part of Blinken’s whistlestop tour of a number of nations, he then travelled to the island of Crete on Saturday to satisfy Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. Fellow NATO member Greece is awaiting the US Congress’s approval of a sale of F-35 fighter jets.

Submit Greece, Blinken’s tour within the coming days will embrace Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Israel and the occupied West Financial institution, the place he’ll ship a message that Washington doesn’t desire a regional escalation of the Gaza battle. Blinken additionally hopes to make progress in talks about how Gaza might be ruled if and when Israel achieves its purpose of eradicating Hamas.

Blinken’s journey has “three fundamental messages”, mentioned Mahjoob Zweiri, a professor of Gulf research at Qatar College: deescalation of the battle; the humanitarian disaster; and what occurs the day after the struggle ends.

“Washington doesn’t appear to be glad over the statements coming from the federal government of Netanyahu speaking concerning the displacement of the folks. They appear to wish to put strain on Netanyahu, particularly with London, Paris and Germany saying the established order of Gaza shouldn’t be modified,” Zweiri instructed Al Jazeera.

Blinken has mentioned Washington desires regional nations, together with Turkey, to play a task in reconstruction, governance and doubtlessly safety within the Gaza Strip, which has been run by Hamas since 2007.

No less than 22,722 folks have been killed and 58,166 wounded in Israeli assaults on Gaza since October 7. The revised demise toll from the October assault on Israel stands at 1,139 folks.

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