After wrapping up extensive talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken started the next leg of his Middle East tour, aimed at consolidating the peace after the violent 11-day conflict between Israel and Hamas, arriving in Cairo on Wednesday, U.S. News reports.
Blinken’s visit comes less than a week after Egypt, who has longstanding relations with both sides in the conflict, managed to mediate an end to the violence that left hundreds dead and thousands homeless in Gaza Strip.
He is scheduled to hold talks with Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and the country’s chief spy Abbas Kamel.
Both Egypt and Jordan, the next stop in Binken’s tour later Wednesday where he’s to meet with the Jordanian king and other officials, are key US allies that frequently serve as mediators between Israel and the Palestinians.
Binken pointed the critical role Egypt played in broker the ceasefire and of Jordan as key players in trying to bring calm to the region, having peace agreements with Israel.
While the conflict was raging, Egypt provided medical aid and evacuated wounded people through the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and its Sinai Peninsula it opened for that purpose. Sharing border with Gaza and having security contacts with Hamas would surely give Egypt significant role in channeling that U.S. aid Blinken announced for Gaza.