Blinken to Meet Egypt’s Sisi on Gaza Hostage Deal

CAIRO (Reuters) —
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken disembarks from the plane upon arriving at King Khalid International Airport, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Monday. (Mark Schiefelbein/Pool via REUTERS)

Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday landed in Cairo for his meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi as the United States works to advance a Gaza truce and hostage deal mediated by the Egyptians and Qataris.

The top U.S. diplomat departed Riyadh shortly after sunrise for what is set to be a marathon day visiting Egypt and Qatar before flying to Israel to discuss hostage negotiations, post-war Gaza plans, and the prospect of Arab countries and Israel normalizing ties.

Blinken’s fifth trip to the region since October comes as the United States presses ahead with its retaliatory campaign against Iran-aligned militia, which had attacked last month and killed U.S. troops in a military outpost in Jordan.

Washington sees a possible truce to free remaining hostages the Hamas terror group kidnapped on Oct. 7 and pause fighting in Gaza as key to progress on other challenges, such as the governance of post-war Gaza, a path towards Palestinian statehood, and a deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia to normalize their relationship.

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