US Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Egypt on Wednesday on the next leg of a diplomatic mission aimed at shoring up a ceasefire that ended the 11-day violence between Israel and Hamas.
Blinken was scheduled to hold talks with Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and the country’s chief spy Abbas Kamel.
Blinken wrapped up extensive talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders, and is scheduled to travel to Amman, Jordan late Wednesday to meet with the Jordanian king and other officials.
Ahead of his departure, Blinken extended US President Joe Biden’s invitation to Israeli President Reuven Rivlin to visit the United States in the coming weeks.
Rivlin accepted, according to a statement from his office.
Blinken described Egypt and Jordan as central players in trying to bring calm to the region. Both countries are key US allies that have peace agreements with Israel and frequently serve as mediators between Israel and the Palestinians.
“Egypt played a critical role in helping to broker the ceasefire and Jordan has long been a voice for peace and stability in the region,” he told reporters late Tuesday.