Blinken’s Trip to Morocco Likely Scuttled Again As Hamas-Israel ‘War’ Escalates
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s long-awaited formal visit to Morocco, already postponed several times in the last nine months due to escalating violence in Jerusalem and the West Bank, is now in limbo again due to the war between Israel and Hamas, American media outlet Axios first reported on Sunday.
Blinken was scheduled to go to the Middle East in mid-October, with visits to Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Morocco, according to Israeli and US officials.
Diplomatic sources told Israeli media that Blinken’s planned visit would principally seek to move forward normalization of relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia. Officials expected Blinken’s stop in Morocco to be a watershed moment, centered on a ministerial summit of Israel and the four other Arab states with which it already has peace treaties negotiated as part of the Abraham Accords.
Hamas’ shocking attack, as well as Saudi Arabia’s and the Arab world’s response to it, have raised new questions about whether Palestinian ambitions for sovereignty can continue to be ignored while the U.S. focuses on normalizing Israel’s relations with its other Arab neighbors.
Given such questions and the escalation of tensions in the Middle East, it now appears unlikely that Blinken’s trip or the Morocco summit will go forward this month as planned.