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US Secretary of State Blinken arrives in Egypt

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, right, meets US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, at the Presidential Palace in Cairo, Egypt, Monday, June 10, 2024.   -  
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Amr Nabil/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved


U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken returned to the Middle East this week as a proposed Israel-Hamas cease-fire deal hangs in the balance after the dramatic rescue of four Israeli hostages held in Gaza in a major military raid and turmoil in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government.

Blinken arrived in Cairo, Egypt on Monday.

With no firm response yet from Hamas to the proposal received 10 days ago, Blinken on Monday will start his eighth diplomatic mission to the region since the conflict began in October. He will meet with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi in Cairo before traveling to Israel, Jordan and Qatar.

While President Joe Biden, Blinken and other U.S. officials have praised the hostage rescue, the operation resulted in the deaths of a large number of Palestinian civilians that may complicate the cease-fire push by emboldening Israel and hardening Hamas' resolve to carry on fighting in the war it initiated with its Oct. 7 attacks in Israel.

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