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US, France Officials In Saudi Arabia Attempt To Negotiate For Ceasefire In Gaza

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As he joined US officials on Monday, French Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne stated that negotiations for a ceasefire in Gaza were moving forward. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is attempting to resolve the conflict between Israel and Hamas diplomatically in Saudi Arabia.

Sejourne was slated to conduct meetings in Riyadh with ministers of Arab and other Western countries as well as Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

On the fringes of a World Economic Forum (WEF) gathering, Sejourne told British news agency Reuters, “Things are moving forward but you always have to be careful in these discussions and negotiations. The situation in Gaza is catastrophic and we need a ceasefire. We will discuss the hostages, humanitarian situation and the ceasefire. Things are progressing, but we must always remain prudent in these discussions and negotiations.”

Monday marked Blinken’s arrival in Saudi Arabia, the first leg of a longer journey through the Middle East.

According to a senior State Department official, he is scheduled to meet with senior Saudi officials in Riyadh and hold a larger meeting with counterparts from five Arab states: Qatar, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Jordan. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss potential governance structures for the Gaza Strip following the conclusion of the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Additionally, Blinken is anticipated to convene Arab and European nations to deliberate on how Europe may support reconstruction endeavors in the Gaza Strip, which has been reduced to a wasteland by an Israeli bombardment that lasted for six months.

On October 7, Hamas militants stormed Israel, capturing 253 hostages and murdering 1,200 people, according to Israeli numbers.

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