President Sheikh Mohamed discusses Gaza with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken

American official continues regional tour before heading to Israel

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President Sheikh Mohamed and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken have held talks as the Israel-Gaza war rages on.

The senior American official arrived in Abu Dhabi on Monday before heading to Al Shati Palace to discuss the crisis.

In a social media post, Mr Blinken said he met Sheikh Mohamed “to discuss efforts to prevent the conflict in the region from widening and address humanitarian needs in Gaza”.

“I underscored our continued commitment to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state,” he said.

UAE President Sheikh Mohamed meets Antony Blinken

UAE President Sheikh Mohamed meets Antony Blinken

During the meeting, Sheikh Mohamed emphasised the need to work towards a ceasefire and ensure that humanitarian relief is delivered to the residents of Gaza while preventing their displacement, Wam reported.

The two previously held face-to-face talks on the war in October, during which they discussed the protection of civilian lives and stressed the urgent need to get medical and relief aid into the Gaza Strip.

The meeting also addressed the need to intensify regional and international diplomatic efforts to prevent further escalation, violence and crises in the region.

Mr Blinken issued a warning in an attempt to calm tension.

“This is a moment of profound tension in the region,” he said in Qatar on Sunday evening.

“This is a conflict that could easily metastasise, causing even more insecurity and even more suffering.”

Qatar, which maintains ties with Hamas, has played a central mediation role in the conflict and helped to broker the release of more than 100 Israeli hostages.

Mr Blinken is due to travel to AlUla in Saudi Arabia to meet Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. He will then travel to Israel and the West Bank.

Updated: January 09, 2024, 6:38 AM