Amid the ongoing months-long conflict in Gaza, King Abdullah II of Jordan implored US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to advocate for a cessation of hostilities and an end to the humanitarian crisis that has beset the Palestinian territory.
According to the royal palace, on Sunday in the Jordanian capital Amman, the king met with Blinken and forewarned him of the “catastrophic consequences” that would ensue should the conflict that began three months ago continue.
Palestinian officials report Israel’s assault on Gaza killed at least 22,835 people, including 9,600 minors, since October 7. The October 7 attack on Israel by Hamas claimed the lives of at least 1,139 individuals, as reported by Israeli authorities.
According to the royal palace, the king reaffirmed “the critical role of the United States in ensuring medical and humanitarian aid is delivered, protecting civilians, and bringing pressure for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.”
Blinken, who embarked on a week-long journey throughout the Middle East on Friday in an effort to prevent the spread of the conflict and defuse regional tensions, has arrived in Jordan after visiting Turkey and Greece, where he expressed “real concern” regarding the Israel-Lebanon border.
“We will make every effort to prevent an escalation in the situation and avoid an endless cycle of violence,” he stated.
Following his sojourn in Jordan, Blinken will proceed to convey a message from the occupied West Bank to Israel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar, all of which are countries through which the United States does not wish for the Gaza conflict to escalate regionally.
The chief United States diplomat also aspires to advance discussions regarding the post-conflict governance of Gaza.
The Prospects for Gaza
Jordan’s Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi and Blinken met earlier on Sunday to discuss a future scenario that would unite the West Bank and Gaza on the basis of a two-state solution for the Israeli and Palestinian populations, according to a statement from the Jordanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates.
King Abdullah reaffirmed the necessity of a two-state resolution to the Israel-Palestine conflict and emphasized Jordan’s “complete rejection” of any coerced displacement of Palestinians from the occupied West Bank and Gaza, where they had signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1994.
An additional point of contention is the United States’ insistence on a two-state resolution, which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and several members of his cabinet have condemned as “the departure of Palestinian residents from Gaza.”
A senior State Department official accompanying the top diplomat stated to Reuters that Blinken will continue to exert pressure on Muslim nations that are hesitant to participate in Gaza’s governance, security, and reconstruction.
The official stated that the US delegation intends to solicit the perspectives of Arab states regarding the future of Gaza prior to presenting those positions to Israel. Various stakeholders acknowledged a substantial divergence of opinion.
Following his discussion with Jordanian authorities, Blinken proceeded to the regional coordination warehouse of the World Food Programme, situated in close proximity to the capital of Jordan. During his visit, he emphasized the critical nature of efficiently delivering and distributing aid to “maximize assistance to those in need.”
Senior United Nations official in Jordan Sheri Ritsema-Anderson, seated within the warehouse supplied with pallets of canned food aid, described the situation in Gaza as being unlike anything she had witnessed in the Middle East during her fifteen years of service.
“It is catastrophic,” she informed the media.
Blinken stated that the United States was attempting to maintain and expand aid routes into the strip.
“Our utmost concern is the dire and worsening food situation that men, women, and children in Gaza are experiencing; this is an issue that we attend to around the clock.”
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