Biden, Netanyahu discuss US talks with Egypt on possible ceasefire

The President expressed his support for a ceasefire and discussed US engagement with Egypt and other partners towards that end.

US President Joe Biden spoke on Monday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It was the third conversation between the two leaders since the beginning of Operation Guardian of the Walls last week.

“The President reiterated his firm support for Israel’s right to defend itself against indiscriminate rocket attacks,” the White House said in a statement.

“The President welcomed efforts to address inter-communal violence and to bring calm to Jerusalem. He encouraged Israel to make every effort to ensure the protection of innocent civilians,” the statement read.

The two discussed the progress of Israel’s military operations against Hamas and other terrorist groups in Gaza, the White House said.

“The President expressed his support for a ceasefire and discussed US engagement with Egypt and other partners towards that end. The two leaders agreed that they and their teams would remain in close touch.”

The call between the two leaders comes as the administration seek to promote a ceasefire. On Sunday and Monday, Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, discussed the situation with several senior officials in the region, including Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi and officials from Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and the EU.

In his conversation with Ashkenazi, Blinken discussed US efforts to bring an end to the violence, “which has claimed the lives of Israeli and Palestinian civilians, including children,” the State Department said in a statement.

“The Secretary also expressed deep concern at the inter-communal violence,” said Ned Price, the State Department spokesperson.

“The two discussed the path forward, and the Secretary noted that the United States would remain engaged with Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and other regional stakeholders as part of our diplomacy to ease tensions and put an end to the hostilities.”

Handy Amr, the State Department’s envoy to the region also met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and other Palestinian officials, the Department said in a statement.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said earlier on Monday that the United States shares with a range of countries around the world a commitment and a desire to bring an end to the violence.

“And how we are approaching this is through the prism, again, of what steps can we take; what actions can we take behind the scenes,” she said.

“We’ve had over 60 calls in the past week, from the President on down, with senior leaders in Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and across the region; and how can we bring an end to the violence through our relationships in the region, both with the Israelis and the Israeli government and also with key other partners whether it’s the Egyptians, the Qataris, and other key countries in the region,” said Psaki.

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