LONDON: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken discussed the most recent developments in the Gaza issue with Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, the prime minister of Qatar, on Friday.
According to State Department spokesman Matthew Miller, “the secretary expressed appreciation for Qatar’s critical efforts to secure the release of hostages held by Hamas and the recent humanitarian pause in Gaza.”
He said, “Both officials emphasized the significance of keeping the conflict from getting worse and pledged to keep working closely together on ongoing efforts to facilitate the safe return of all remaining hostages while maintaining humanitarian assistance to civilians in Gaza.”
According to Sheikh Mohammed, Doha and its allies in mediation are still dedicated to bringing about peace in Gaza and a long-term ceasefire. However, he said, pointing out that the recent humanitarian pause’s conclusion and the Israeli shelling of the area are making mediation efforts more difficult and the humanitarian crisis in the besieged enclave worse.
In order to help transport aid to Palestinians in Gaza and to provide the required security for relief convoys, he further emphasized the importance of opening viable humanitarian corridors.