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Blinken’s Flying Carpet Tour to the Middle East Continues

After a visit to Istanbul, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken flew to Crete, where he met Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. “We talked about our NATO Alliance, the tremendous solidarity that we have and continue to have in supporting Ukraine against the Russian aggression,” Blinken told reporters in Crete last night. “We talked a little about steps to prepare for the NATO Summit that will take place in Washington early this summer. And we also focused on what both countries have done through the leadership of President Erdogan and Prime Minister Mitsotakis to bring Greece and Türkiye closer together, including the summit meeting that both leaders had just last month.”

“In Türkiye, we also focused extensively on what Türkiye can do, using its influence, using its ties, to help prevent the conflict in the Middle East from spreading,” he continued. “And we also talked about the role that Türkiye can play both in ‘the day after’ for Gaza in terms of the challenging questions of governance, Palestinian-led governance, security, rebuilding, as well as the work that it can do with others to try to produce more lasting, durable peace and security in the region.”

With regard to the Middle East, Blinken said, “We have an intense focus on preventing this conflict from spreading”—although this is belied by the facts on the ground and the U.S. continued failure to rein in the berserker Israeli leader.

One reporter noted that, despite his talk about keeping the conflict from spreading, Hezbollah fired some 60 rockets into northern Israel, to which Israel responded with air strikes into Lebanon. Blinken responded: “One of the areas of real concern is the border between Israel and Lebanon, and we want to do everything possible to make sure that we don’t see escalation there. But it’s very important that Israelis have security in the north.” Blinken added: “We are looking at ways diplomatically to try to defuse that challenge, that tension, so that people can return to their homes, that they can live in peace and security, and this is something that we’re very actively working on.”

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