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Blinken visits Iraq in bid to prevent Gaza spillover | Reuters |

After an earlier visit to the occupied West Bank, Blinken landed in Baghdad on Sunday evening for his first visit to the country as the US top diplomat and held talks with Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed al Sudani.

He said the United States was working hard to ensure that the conflict in Gaza does not spread.

Blinken said he had a good, candid conversation with the Iraq government and that US officials were working to secure a humanitarian pause in Gaza that would advance several priorities including getting more aid in and getting Hamas' hostages out.

Speaking to reporters after the unannounced stop in Baghdad, the US Secretary of State said there were now 100 trucks of aid moving into the besieged coastal enclave, but "It's grossly insufficient."

Washington wants to prevent a wider regional conflict and has stepped up diplomacy with regional countries whose populations have been angered by Israel's assault on Gaza.

Blinken landed at Baghdad's international airport, donned a ballistic vest and traveled by Black Hawk helicopter to the Green Zone, a remnant of the US occupation of Iraq after its 2003 invasion.

At the US ambassador's residence he was briefed on threats to US facilities, before heading to the Iraqi prime minister's office.

Later on Sunday, the US Secretary of State arrived in Ankara, according to a Reuters eyewitness, where he will hold talks with his Turkish counterpart Hakan Fidan on Monday amid the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Protests were already underway in Turkiye ahead of Blinken's visit.

Palestinians protest Blinken's visit to Ramallah, demand no talks with him | Anadolu Agency |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Nov 5th, 2023 at 10:52:45 PM EST

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