Anthony Blinken's Surprise Trips To West Bank And Iraq Aim To Soothe Regional Concerns Amid Israel-Hamas Conflict

As the Israel-Hamas conflict continues, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has made two unexpected visits to the Middle East in an attempt to ease regional tensions.

Blinken visited the West Bank and Iraq on Sunday. These visits followed a summit of Arab leaders in Jordan on Saturday. The Secretary of State reassured Middle East allies that the U.S. would work to prevent the conflict from spreading and help Palestinian civilians caught in the humanitarian crisis, reported The Wall Street Journal.

Blinken left Baghdad late Sunday for Ankara, where he is expected to discuss humanitarian aid and the collective interest in preventing a broader conflict with his Turkish counterpart.

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The unexpected regional tour comes at a critical and volatile time for the Middle East. The Biden administration is attempting to balance its support for Israel’s right to self-defense with calls from Arab allies to halt the fighting.

In Ramallah, Palestine, Blinken met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas who stated that his administration would only consider taking over Gaza if a peace settlement with Israel was reached. The Palestinian Authority is in a precarious position due to the Gaza conflict and recent attacks by Israeli extremists in the West Bank.

In Baghdad, Blinken met with Prime Minister Mohammed al-Sudani amid increasing violence in Iraq. The country has seen a significant rise in attacks on U.S. facilities, with at least 31 incidents in the past two weeks, according to the Pentagon.

Blinken’s visits reflect the U.S.’s recognition of the fragility of some Arab governments in the Middle East, which could be destabilized if Israel’s campaign in Gaza continues.

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Photo by Alexandros Michailidis on Shutterstock

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Posted In: NewsPoliticsGlobalGeneralAntony BlinkenIsrael-Hamas WarMiddle East
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