Gaza in focus ahead of summit in Riyadh

Gaza in focus ahead of summit in Riyadh



full screen US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Archive image. Photo: Tatan Syuflana/AP/TT

The war in Gaza and increased tensions in the Middle East are expected to be the big topics when several countries meet during the World Economic Forum (WEF), which kicks off on Sunday in the Saudi capital Riyadh.

The meeting is attended by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and high-ranking officials from other countries who are trying to reach an agreement on a cease-fire between Israel and terrorist-labeled Hamas.

– We are meeting at a time when a misjudgment, a miscalculation or a miscommunication will further exacerbate our challenges, says Saudi Planning Minister Faisal al-Ibrahim before the meeting.

According to WEF chairman Børge Brende, there is a certain new drive in the talks around the hostages and also possibilities for a way “out of the deadlock we are facing in Gaza”.

At the same time, representatives from Israel do not participate in the meeting, and Brende emphasizes that the mediation talks with Qatar and Egypt are taking place elsewhere:

– This is more of an opportunity to have a structured discussion, he says.

During the meeting, Antony Blinken will “discuss ongoing efforts to achieve a ceasefire in Gaza that secures the release of the hostages”, according to a statement from the US State Department, which also states that it is Hamas that “stands between the Palestinian people and a truce”.