U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken on Sunday spoke with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry to discuss the violence in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement.
Secretary Blinken reiterated his call on all parties to deescalate tensions and bring a halt to the violence, which has claimed the lives of Israeli and Palestinian civilians, including children.
“The Secretary and the Foreign Minister highlighted the importance of the strong strategic partnership between the United States and Egypt and the Secretary thanked Egypt for their ongoing efforts to support an end to the violence,” Price said.
Blinken also spoke with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian to “discuss their shared concern about ongoing violence in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza and their engagement with partners in the region to bring about calm.”
“Secretary Blinken and Foreign Minister Le Drian also spoke about their cooperation as OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair Countries and emphasized the need for a long-term political settlement to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” Price said, adding that the Secretary also spoke with Qatari Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, and both “discussed efforts to restore calm in Israel and the West Bank and Gaza in light of the tragic loss of civilian life.”
“The Secretary highlighted the importance of the strong partnership with Qatar and thanked the Foreign Minister for Qatar’s role in advancing peace and security in the region,” he added.
Secretary Blinken also spoke with the Foreign Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud.
“The Secretary and the Foreign Minister discussed the ongoing efforts to calm tensions in Israel and the West Bank and Gaza and bring the current violence to an end,” Price said. The Secretary lamented the loss of Palestinian and Israeli lives and urged engagement to prevent a deepening of the crisis. He also expressed his belief that Palestinians and Israelis deserve equal measures of freedom, dignity, security, and prosperity.”
The Secretary and Foreign Minister also “discussed other important priorities, such as bolstering Saudi defenses, achieving a comprehensive ceasefire and transition to a political process in Yemen, and continued progress on human rights. The Secretary conveyed his best wishes to the Foreign Minister and Saudi people for Eid al-Fitr.”
Blinken also spoke with Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshiand highlighted the importance of continued cooperation on the Afghan peace process, Pakistan’s progress on countering terrorism, and the potential to expand our trade and commercial ties and to improve regional connectivity in South Asia, Price added.