The US Department of State has announced that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will visit Israel, the occupied West Bank, Morocco, and Algeria in the coming days to discuss regional issues as well as the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Blinken’s tour is set to take place from March 26 to 30 and it would begin in Israel and the West Bank, and end in Algeria, the department said on Thursday.
US State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement that Blinken will also meet with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan while in Morocco to “discuss regional security and international developments.”
Price also indicated that Blinken will “consult with partners on a range of regional and global priorities, including the Russian government’s war on Ukraine, Iran’s destabilizing activities, the Abraham Accords and normalization agreements with Israel, Israeli-Palestinian relations, and preserving the possibility of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, among other topics.”
The visit comes in the context of US President Joe Biden pushing to get its Middle East allies to join in the Western-led pressure campaign against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.
The visit also comes as Washington is negotiating indirectly with Tehran to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which would grant sanctions relief to the Iranians in exchange for scaling back their nuclear program.
Price further said in Thursday’s statement that Blinken will meet with top Israeli officials while in the Levant country, including Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. Afterward, Blinken will then meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank.