Blinken in Turkey, and Calling for pause in fighting


Erdogan does not meet with him- The meeting is at the foreign minister level, only.

– U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken discussed the situation in Gaza on Monday with Turkey’s foreign minister, part of Blinken’s efforts to calm regional tensions over the war between Israel and the militant Palestinian group Hamas.

Blinken, who is touring the Middle East region, landed in Ankara on Sunday evening and held talks with Turkey’s Hakan Fidan on Monday morning followed by a meeting of delegations.

The meeting between Blinken and Fidan lasted two and a half hours, a U.S. State Department official said. No talks were scheduled between Blinken and President Tayyip Erdogan, who has criticised the U.S. over its “unlimited support to Israel”.

Washington wants to prevent a wider regional conflict and has stepped up diplomacy with countries across the region whose peoples have been angered by Israel’s bombardment of Gaza.

Health officials in Hamas-controlled Gaza said more than 9,770 Palestinians have been killed so far in the war, which began when Hamas killed 1,400 people and seized more than 240 hostages in southern Israel on Oct. 7.

Israel has likely killed more than 10,000 already

Blinken wraps up Mideast tour calling for pauses in Gaza fighting

U.S. officials are seeking to convince Israel of the strategic importance of respecting the laws of war by protecting non-combatants and significantly boosting deliveries of humanitarian aid to Gaza’s beleaguered civilian population.

It remained unclear, however, if Netanyahu would agree to temporary, rolling pauses in the massive operation to eradicate Hamas — or whether outrage among Palestinians and their supporters could be assuaged if he did.

Already Jordan and Turkey have recalled their ambassadors to Israel to protest its tactics and the tide of international opinion appears to be turning from sympathy toward Israel in the aftermath of Oct. 7 to revulsion as images of death and destruction in Gaza spread around the world.

On Saturday in the Jordanian capital of Amman, both the Egyptian and Jordanian foreign ministers appeared at a joint news conference with Blinken. The two said Israel’s war had gone beyond self-defense and could no longer be justified as it now amounted to collective punishment of the Palestinian people.

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