US Secretary of State Antony Blinken In Flurry Of Calls To Seek End To Mideast Clashes
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday held talks with key counterparts influential in the Middle East as the United States seeks to de-escalate deadly clashes between Israel and the Palestinians.
Blinken, who was en route Sunday to Denmark at the start of a week of diplomacy focused on the Arctic, spoke by phone to officials in Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and France.
After Iran, Qatar is seen as having the greatest influence on the Hamas militant group.
"The secretary reiterated his call on all parties to de-escalate tensions and bring a halt to the violence, which has claimed the lives of Israeli and Palestinian civilians, including children," State Department spokesman Ned Price said.
Each of Blinken's calls sounded those themes, according to the State Department readouts.
The calls followed the deadliest day yet in the nearly weeklong flareup, as Israeli strikes killed 42 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and as the UN Security Council held a virtual meeting amid global alarm over the conflict.