The head of American diplomacy, Antony Blinken, will visit Morocco and Algeria next week, but also Israel and Palestine.
The planned visit, which will also include stops in Israel and Palestine, will take place at the end of Blinken’s trip to Europe from this Thursday, accompanied by the American president, Joe Biden, in Brussels, then in Poland.
This is Blinken’s first visit to Morocco since his appointment as Secretary of State. In July 2016, he traveled to Morocco during his tenure as Deputy Secretary of State under Barack Obama’s administration.
Bliken will travel from Israel to Morocco on Monday and from there to Algeria. These visits to Rabat and Algiers will take place on the occasion of the growing tensions between Algeria and Morocco over the conflict in the Moroccan Sahara.
The senior official says he is expected to arrive at a time when US relations with many of its partners and allies in the region are strained. The initial itinerary of his tour included stops in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, but as the dates of the trip changed several times, these visits were abandoned.
During his visit to Israel, the US Secretary of State met with Israeli officials in Jerusalem and Palestinian officials in Ramallah, he added, noting that King Abdullah of Jordan was expected to travel to Ramallah on Sunday to meet the Palestinian head of state Mahmoud Abbas.
As a reminder, Antony Blinken met Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita last November in Washington, a few months after another meeting in Rome as part of a ministerial meeting of the international coalition to fight Daesh.