White House: Biden backs ceasefire in Middle East conflict | Free press

US President Biden has come under pressure to do more to end violence in the Middle East. Now he expresses his support for a truce.

Washington (AP) – In the Middle East conflict between Israel and militant Palestinians, US President Joe Biden has spoken out in favor of a ceasefire.

In a phone conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Biden expressed support for a ceasefire, the White House said. The US president had also discussed the efforts of the United States, Egypt and other partners with Netanyahu.

The statement also said Biden had expressed support for Israel’s right to self-defense. At the same time, he had encouraged Israel to “do everything in its power to ensure the protection of innocent civilians.” It was Biden’s third call to Netanyahu since the violence flared up. For the first time since taking office nearly four months ago, Biden also spoke with Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas on Saturday.

Biden’s government came under increasing pressure in the conflict and had defended itself against criticism. White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the government believes it can achieve the most with “quiet, intense diplomacy.” Over the past week, President Biden’s government officials down to lower levels had more than 60 talks with representatives from Israel, the Palestinians and many partners in the region. There were many conversations “behind the scenes”. There have been no public announcements on any aspect of these diplomatic efforts.

Despite international efforts to achieve a ceasefire, the conflict between Israel and Palestinian militants from the Gaza Strip continues. Calls had recently been made in many places for Biden’s government to step up efforts to resolve the conflict. Biden had not yet explicitly joined international calls for a ceasefire.

At home, Democrat Biden also came under pressure, partly from the Republicans, but partly from his own ranks. On Sunday, a group of more than two dozen Democratic senators issued a joint statement calling for an immediate ceasefire.

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