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Saudi crown prince, Blinken discuss situation in Gaza

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Saudi crown prince, Blinken discuss situation in Gaza

RIYADH ,March 21: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has received US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Jeddah, the Saudi Press Agency said early Thursday, as the US diplomat makes his sixth tour of the region.

The meeting discussed “Developments in the Gaza Strip, and efforts made to stop military operations and deal with their security and humanitarian repercussions,” the SPA added.

The pair “reviewed bilateral relations and areas of joint cooperation, in addition to the latest regional and International developments.”

Blinken landed in Jeddah earlier on Wednesday on the first leg of a regional tour that was extended to include Israel.

Earlier, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan and Blinken discussed the “importance of an immediate ceasefire” in Gaza.

Speaking to Al-Hadath, Blinken said the US is “pressing for an immediate ceasefire tied to the release of hostages. That would bring immediate relief to so many people who are suffering in Gaza”.

The US has backed Israel with weapons and diplomatic cover in its five-month war in the enclave to extract hostages taken by Hamas on Oct. 7. But Israel’s methods have drawn global outrage, prompting a genocide case against it at the International Court of Justice.

The visit comes amid strained ties between US President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as Washington has become increasingly frustrated by its ally’s failure to curb civilian deaths or allow the delivery of vital aid.

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