update deskU.S.-Israel Relations

Blinken arrives in Egypt in first leg of Middle East tour

The U.S. diplomat's visit comes amid heightened tensions between Israel and the Palestinians.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Photo by Alexandros Michailidis/Shutterstock.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Photo by Alexandros Michailidis/Shutterstock.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Egypt Sunday at the start of a Middle East tour in which he will also visit Israel and the Palestinian Authority and meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

“As the United States and Egypt mark more than a century of diplomatic cooperation and friendship, the United States stands with Egypt and the Egyptian people to promote regional security,” the State Department said in a statement on Saturday.

Blinken’s visit comes amid heightened tensions between Israel and the Palestinians after two terror attacks in Jerusalem over the weekend, the first of which cost the lives of seven Israelis outside a synagogue in the Neve Ya’akov neighborhood of Jerusalem.

On Friday, Blinken denounced the synagogue attack: “The United States condemns in the strongest terms the horrific terrorist attack that occurred today outside of a synagogue in Jerusalem.

“We mourn those killed in the attack, and our thoughts are with the injured, including children. The notion of people being targeted as they leave a house of worship is abhorrent. It is particularly tragic that this attack occurred on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

“On behalf of the United States, I express our deepest condolences to the families of the deceased and wish those injured a full recovery. We are in close contact with our Israeli partners and reaffirm our unwavering commitment to Israel’s security,” Blinken said.

U.S. President Joe Biden also condemned the “horrific” Palestinian terrorist attack, in a phone call with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday.

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