Secretary of State Antony Blinken received a cold reception from Egyptian and Saudi leaders during meetings about support for Israel on Sunday, according to The Washington Post.
Egypt’s Abdel Fatah El-Sisi and Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) rejected Blinken’s call for support of Israel’s counteroffensive in the Gaza Strip, the Post reported on Sunday. El-Sisi and Salman made it clear that they stood with Palestinians and called for Israel to end its “siege” in Gaza. (RELATED: Biden Admin Applauds Deal With Saudi Arabia On 9/11 Anniversary)
“I heard a lot of good ideas about some of the things we need to do moving forward,” Blinken told reporters on Sunday following his meeting.
MBS kept Blinken waiting for hours before their expected discussion on Saturday, instead choosing to show up to the meeting the next morning, according to the Post. When the two eventually met, MBS “stressed” that the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) should halt its counter-offensive “that [has] claimed the lives of innocent people” and end the “siege of Gaza.”
The United States and Egypt agreed to open a border checkpoint on the border of the Gaza Strip and Egypt
▪️US Secretary of State Blinken, following his conversation with the Egyptian President, agreed to open the Rafah crossing on the border between Egypt and the Gaza Strip.… pic.twitter.com/43CfOAYDAr
— Sprinter (@Sprinter99800) October 16, 2023
Saudi Arabian intelligence agents have been credibly accused of helping carry out the 9/11 attacks in the U.S., part of which has been confirmed through declassified information. The country has been accused of a number of “deplorable” human rights violations, including torture in detention centers, prolonged arbitrary detention and widespread legal corruption.
In Cairo, el-Sisi told Blinken that Israel’s counteroffensive has exceeded “the right of self-defense” and turned into a “collective punishment,” according to the Post. Egypt and the U.S. have reached an agreement to open a corridor in the Rafah border for U.S. citizens evacuating Gaza.
“Egypt has put in place a lot of material support for people in Gaza, and Rafah will be opened,” Blinken said on Sunday. “We’re putting in place with the United Nations, with Egypt, with Israel, with others, the mechanism by which to get the assistance in, and to get it to people who need it.”
The State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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