Blinken will travel to Israel, the West Bank, Morocco and Algeria | Israelo-Palestinian conflict
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will travel to Israel, the occupied West Bank, Morocco and Algeria in the coming days, the US State Department announced, to discuss regional issues as well as the Russian invasion of Israel. ‘Ukraine.
The department said Thursday that Blinken’s tour, scheduled for March 26-30, would begin in Israel and the West Bank, and end in Algeria.
The top US diplomat will also meet Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan during his stay in Morocco’s capital Rabat to “discuss regional security and international developments”, the door said. -State Department spokesman Ned Price in a statement.
Blinken “will consult with partners on a range of regional and global priorities, including the Russian government’s war on Ukraine, Iran’s destabilizing activities, the Abraham Accords and normalization agreements with Israel, Israeli relations -Palestinians and the preservation of the possibility of a two-state system”. solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, among other topics,” Price said.
The visit comes as US President Joe Biden’s administration is pushing for its Middle Eastern allies to join the West’s pressure campaign against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.
Washington is also indirectly negotiating with Tehran to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which would grant sanctions relief to the Iranians in exchange for a reduction in their nuclear program. Israel, the main ally of the United States in the region, opposes the reinstatement of the agreement.
In Israel, Blinken will meet with senior Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Naftali Bennett; he will then meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, Price said in a statement Thursday.
“During these meetings, the Secretary will stress the importance of strengthening U.S.-Palestinian relations and advancing the freedom, security, and prosperity of the Palestinian people,” Price added.
The Biden administration often invokes the promotion of Palestinian rights. However, Palestine solidarity activists have criticized Washington’s unconditional support for Israel and its reluctance to criticize Israeli policies that major human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, have called “apartheid”. “against the Palestinians.
From Israel, Blinken will travel to Morocco, which normalized relations with the Israeli government in 2020 under the so-called Abraham Accords, negotiated under former US President Donald Trump.
The 2020 accords, which saw the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan normalize relations with Israel, angered Palestinian leaders, who dismissed the push as a “stab in the back” to the Palestinian cause. The Biden administration backed those deals.
In December 2020, Trump also recognized Moroccan sovereignty over disputed Western Sahara – a move Biden did not reverse. The State Department statement detailing Blinken’s upcoming trip to Morocco did not mention the issue.
“In Morocco, [Blinken] will meet with Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita and other senior government officials to exchange views on regional issues and bilateral cooperation, as well as the promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms,” Price said.
The senior US diplomat will conclude his trip to Algeria, where he will meet with “President Abdelmadjid Tebboune and Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra to discuss regional security and stability, trade cooperation, promotion of human rights rights and fundamental freedoms and other areas of mutual interest”. .
The State Department has suggested that the crisis in Ukraine will be a constant topic throughout the trip. “During his trip, the Secretary will emphasize to all foreign leaders he meets that the United States stands in solidarity with the government and people of Ukraine in the face of Kremlin aggression,” Price said.
“We will continue to work closely with our allies and partners to impose additional costs on [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and his enablers if Putin does not change course.