US Secretary of State visiting the Middle East


The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is scheduled to visit Israel at the end of this month to get a better understanding of the agenda of the new government headed by Benjamin Netanyahu.

The Israeli i24news website said that Blinken is the first senior US official to visit Israel since the election of Netanyahu’s right-wing government, noting that the US Secretary of State has been assigned to prepare for Netanyahu’s visit to Washington, which is expected to take place in February.

Before Blinken, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan is expected to arrive in Israel on January 19, for a series of political talks with Netanyahu and his ministers.

Sullivan and Blinken will each try to reach an understanding with Netanyahu and his ministers on the most sensitive issues such as the Iranian threat, relations with the Palestinians, their attempts to refer Israel to the International Criminal Court, and the war in Ukraine.

Blinken’s visit is prompted by fears in the administration of US President Joe Biden about some of the recent initiatives of members of the new government, specifically the storming of the Al Aqsa Mosque by National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir.

Sullivan will be the first foreign official hosted by Israel’s new National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi and Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer.

Blinken’s visit will be the first diplomatic visit hosted by the new Secretary of State, Eli Cohen.

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