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From Paris, Blinken urges Israel to do more to protect civilians in Gaza

Israel must do more to “protect innocent civilians” &agrav; Gaza, bring aid in, and must conduct a "rapid" on the death of seven humanitarian workers, launched Tuesday from Paris the head of American diplomacy Antony Blinken after a meeting with his French counterpart Stéphane Séjourn&eac;.

The two officials held a press conference following a meeting on major international crises, first and foremost the war in Gaza and Ukraine.

They notably mentioned the death, on Monday, of seven workers from the American NGO World Central Kitchen, killed in an Israeli strike in Gaza, described on Tuesday by the Israeli government as “unintentional” and a “tragic incident”.

Stéphane Séjourné expressed “firm condemnation” of France and Anthony Blinken called for a “rapid and impartial” investigation to shed light on this tragedy.< /p>

The US secretary of state also urged Israel to do “more to protect innocent civilian lives, whether innocent Palestinian children or aid workers”, and reiterated “the imperative need to significantly increase “aid” to the Palestinian territory ravaged by nearly six months of war and in the grip of a major humanitarian crisis.

With regard to Ukraine, they recalled that the United States, like France, intended to continue their aid relentlessly.

“France has been a formidable leader in this effort,” praised Anthony Blinken.

Addressing American public opinion, he insisted that Congress must vote on the crucial aid program for Ukraine.< /p>

From Paris, Blinken urges Israel to do more to protect civilians in Gaza

American Secretary of State Antony Blinken (l) and his French counterpart Stéphane Séjourné, during a press conference, April 2, 2024 in Paris © POOL – Emmanuel Dunand

Far ahead of Paris, the United States has been kyiv's main support since the Russian invasion in February 2022. But in Washington, a program of 60 billion dollars of military aid intended for Ukraine has been blocked for months by the Republican opposition in Congress.

Mr. Blinken also assured that Washington was working tirelessly to prevent the transfer of weapons and equipment to Russia, particularly from Iran or North Korea, or even China, which are then used against Ukraine. .

It had been almost two years since Anthony Blinken had come to France. His visit precedes the highly anticipated visit of American President Joe Biden, who is due to participate in the 80th anniversary of the Allied landings in Normandy on June 6, 1944.

– Initiatives for Ukraine –

The two men also discussed preparations for the NATO summit which will take place in Washington in July.

From Paris, Blinken urges Israel to do more to protect civilians in Gaza

Organization of the North Atlantic Treaty after Swedish accession © AFP – Nalini LEPETIT-CHELLA, Anibal MAIZ CACERES

In addition to the transfer of weapons to Russia, Ukraine's accession to NATO will be discussed.

Questioned about such perspective, Stéphane Séjourné and Antony Blinken referred to the communication made in Vilnius last July where there was talk of accession without a timetable.

“Member States are committed to supporting Ukraine's reforms on the path to integration obviously with NATO,” declared Stéphane Séjourné. “In the coming hours, in the coming days, we will confirm this unity of the NATO countries around this formula which should remain the same as that of Vilnius”.

“As the allies said in Vilnius, Ukraine will be a member of NATO”, declared Antony Blinken for his part while adding that it was necessary “to have a very good and very clear road map to arrive to this conclusion.”

“And I believe that the NATO summit and the 75th anniversary will be very focused, in a very concrete way, on how to establish this road,” he said.

From Paris, Blinken urges Israel to do more to protect civilians in Gaza

The Director General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay (d), and American Secretary of State Antony Blinken, April 2, 2024 in Paris © POOL – Thomas Padilla

The US Secretary of State also visited UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), where he expressed US support for the organization during an interview with its general director, Audrey Azoulay.

“It’s great that the United States is back at UNESCO,” he said.

The United States has rejoined under Joe Biden the organization that it left under the mandate of Republican President Donald Trump (2017-2021).

At the end of the day, Antony Blinken will finally be received by Emmanuel Macron at the Elysée, where major international crises will once again be on the agenda, we learned from the French presidency.

He will then travel to Brussels on Wednesday to participate in a meeting with his NATO counterparts on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the creation of the Atlantic Alliance.

On the sidelines of this meeting, he will also have a trilateral meeting with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian and the leaders of the European Union.

All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116