LIVE UPDATES: Blinken holding meetings in Egypt, which played ‘critical role’ in Israel cease-fire

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is heading to Egypt and Jordan on Wednesday during his visit to the Middle East in the wake of the cease-fire reached between Israel and Hamas. 

Blinken, now in Cairo, is expected to meet with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and other leading officials before a visit later today with Jordan’s King Abdullah II. 

“Egypt played a critical role in helping to broker the cease-fire and Jordan has long been a voice for peace and stability in the region,” he told reporters late Tuesday, according to The Associated Press. 

FAST FACTS

    • The truce that ended the Gaza war on Friday has so far held, but it did not address any of the deeper issues plaguing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
    • Blinken repeatedly affirmed what he said was Israel’s right to defend itself, adding that the U.S. would assist Israel in replenishing its Iron Dome rocket-interception system.

Blinken on Tuesday reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to Israel’s security during a highly anticipated joint statement alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. 

He also announced a $112 million package of assistance for the Palestinians and other humanitarian projects in Gaza. 

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