Arab foreign ministers to meet Blinken in Cairo on Thursday

By Thomson Reuters Mar 20, 2024 | 1:46 PM

CAIRO (Reuters) – Arab foreign ministers and a top Palestinian official will meet U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Cairo on Thursday as he pushes for a pause in fighting between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip during his latest tour of the region.

Blinken will meet foreign ministers from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Jordan, as well as the Emirati international cooperation minister and the secretary-general of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation, according to an Egyptian foreign ministry note.

The note did not give details on the subject of the meeting, but Egyptian security sources said Arab nations would present plans for a political solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Such plans had been put on hold as mediators from Qatar, Egypt and the U.S. sought to secure a deal for a ceasefire in Gaza and for the release of Israeli hostages and Palestinian prisoners.

Blinken has said he would pursue conversations on arrangements for the governance, security and redevelopment of post-conflict Gaza, and for lasting regional peace during his tour.

Talks for a ceasefire deal continued in Qatar this week following failed attempts to secure an agreement ahead of start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

(Reporting by Aidan Lewis and Ahmed Mohamed Hassan; editing by Mark Heinrich and Leslie Adler)