CIA Chief to Visit France to Resume Talks on Gaza

Fri May 24 2024
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WASHINGTON: US intelligence chief Bill Burns is expected to visit Paris to hold talks with representatives of Israel in an attempt to resume talks aimed at reaching a truce in Gaza, a Western source close to the matter said on Friday.

The visit of the CIA chief to France, in the coming days, comes after Israel gave the green light to resume talks for the release of Israeli hostages held by Hamas in Gaza in exchange for a temporary ceasefire.

Previous negotiations in Cairo and Doha attended by Qatar and Egypt as mediators for Hamas stalled earlier this month with both Israel and the Palestinian group unhappy with the conditions set by the other side.

It was not immediately clear if representatives of Egypt or Qatar would join Paris talks.

According to a New York Times report, Burns would hold a meeting with his Israeli counterpart David Barnea, the head of Israel’s Mossad spy agency.

The US-based Axios news website quoted a source as saying Burns would also meet Prime Minister of Qatar Mohammed Bin Abdul Rahman Al-Thani.

According to the Gaza health ministry, Israel’s relentless bombardment has killed at least 35,800 people in Gaza, mostly women and children.

Axios said Israeli negotiators in recent days have developed a new proposal to renew the hostage talks which includes some compromises from the Israeli side compared to the last round of negotiations in Cairo.

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