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What Urgent Steps Will Blinken Take After Jordanian King’s Warning on Gaza?

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Amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken landed in Amman on Sunday for a crucial meeting with Jordanian King Abdullah II. The Jordanian monarch delivered a stark warning about the “catastrophic repercussions” of the Israeli campaign, emphasizing the urgent need to address the humanitarian crisis unfolding in the densely populated enclave.

A statement from the royal court revealed that King Abdullah II not only underscored the gravity of the situation but also stressed the imperative to halt the “humanitarian catastrophe” that has gripped Gaza. In his meeting with Blinken, the Jordanian king renewed the emphasis on the pivotal role of the United States in pressuring for an immediate ceasefire, ensuring the protection of civilians, and facilitating the delivery of relief and humanitarian aid to Gaza sustainably and adequately.

Antony Blinken’s visit to Jordan is part of a broader Middle East tour aimed at de-escalating tensions in the region amid the intense conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group, Hamas. The diplomatic journey, Blinken’s fourth to the region in just four months, began with a stopover in Crete, Greece, on Saturday.

The upcoming destinations on Blinken’s itinerary include Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Israel, the West Bank, and Egypt. His extensive travels are a testament to the urgency and complexity of the diplomatic efforts required to address the escalating crisis in the Middle East.

Before he met with King Abdullah II, Antony Blinken engaged with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan in Istanbul, demonstrating the wide-reaching nature of the diplomatic mission. The primary focus of Blinken’s discussions during this trip is to explore concrete steps that regional actors can take to prevent further escalation of the Gaza war.

The United States, through Blinken, is actively pursuing measures to increase humanitarian aid to Gaza and to secure the release of hostages still held by Hamas militants. The broader goal is to contain and resolve the conflict that erupted following the October 7 attacks initiated by Hamas from the Gaza Strip.

As the Gaza war unfolds, concerns are mounting about the potential spillover of the conflict throughout the region. Cross-border attacks on the Lebanese-Israeli border and Iran-allied militia attacks on shipping in the Red Sea have added to the complexity of the situation.

In the face of these challenges, Antony Blinken’s diplomatic efforts seek to bring stability to the region and address the immediate humanitarian needs arising from the conflict. The urgency of the situation underscores the importance of international collaboration and strategic diplomacy to navigate the intricate geopolitical landscape of the Middle East.

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