Antony Blinken
Antony BlinkenREUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/Pool

US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said on Thursday that Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who will arrive in Israel for a visit, will be holding tough conversations on plans for the day after the war in Gaza.

Speaking to reporters, Miller officially announced that Blinken will depart for his fourth trip to the Middle East since the terrorist attacks of October 7, which will also include stops in Europe.

The Secretary of State was scheduled to visit Israel this week but postponed the visit by a few days.

“Over the course of the next week, the Secretary will visit Turkey, Greece, Jordan, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Israel, the West Bank, and Egypt for meetings with foreign counterparts and others,” said Miller.

Later in the briefing, Miller was asked whether he expects the conversations to be substantively different with the Israeli Government on this trip.

“Our strategic priorities have remained the same since the outset, but we have different things that we are trying to accomplish on every trip. Even though our strategic priorities have remained the same, you’ve always – you’ve heard the Secretary say, you’ve heard me say, you’ve heard the President say that we want to see the conflict from – we want to keep the conflict from expanding; we want to get more humanitarian assistance in. The different steps that need to be taken to achieve those change over time because the nature of the conflict changes and the nature of the situation on the ground changes. So while our strategic goals don’t change, the things that we are trying to accomplish always do,” he replied.

Miller also noted that the US will be “pushing additional steps on what Gaza should look like at the end of the conflict”, though he did not elaborate on what those steps would be.

“But we have been working very hard in this building, throughout the administration, and quietly with allies and partners in the region and throughout the world on what the day after ought to look like. Those are going to be some of the toughest conversations, of course, but we’re ready to go pursue them,” he added.