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US Secretary of State Blinken Unveils Draft US Resolution for Immediate Gaza Ceasefire

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Staff Writer, TLR

Published on March 21, 2024, 15:17:58


US, gaza, ceasefire

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has announced the introduction of a draft resolution at the United Nations Security Council, urging for an "immediate ceasefire linked to the release of hostages" in the Gaza Strip.

"We have presented a resolution to the United Nations Security Council, advocating for an immediate ceasefire tied to the release of hostages. We hope for broad support from member states," stated Blinken during discussions with Saudi media outlet Al Hadath while visiting Saudi Arabia to address the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

Blinken held meetings with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan and later engaged in talks with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman upon his arrival in the kingdom. This visit marks the beginning of a regional tour, with scheduled stops in Egypt on Thursday and Israel thereafter.

This trip marks Blinken's sixth visit to the Middle East since the conflict commenced on October 7. Blinken emphasised the necessity of prioritising the safety and well-being of civilians caught in the crossfire. "We stand with Israel in its defence, but it's imperative to prioritise the safety of civilians and provide them with necessary humanitarian assistance," he stressed.

Following the rejection of an Algerian proposal for an "immediate humanitarian ceasefire" in Gaza in late February, US officials have been engaged in negotiations for an alternative resolution, focusing on diplomatic efforts for a six-week truce in exchange for the release of hostages.

The revised draft, circulated among Security Council members, emphasises "the urgent need for an immediate and sustainable ceasefire to protect civilians on all sides, facilitate the delivery of essential humanitarian aid, and mitigate suffering... in conjunction with the release of hostages still held." However, no vote has been scheduled for this text.

Simultaneously, discussions are ongoing in Qatar, where mediators convened for a third consecutive day on Wednesday in a renewed attempt to broker a ceasefire, although signs of an imminent agreement remain elusive.

Blinken expressed cautious optimism regarding the mediation efforts in Doha, stating, "Progress is being made. There's narrowing of differences and reaching an agreement seems feasible." He further noted ongoing negotiations with Hamas, highlighting their recent counterproposals.

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