Vice President Joe Biden spoke about Israel's Gaza blockade after meeting with Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak today. But he did not say anything about reported election irregularities last week.
“We are consulting closely with Egypt, as well as our other partners, on new ways to address the humanitarian, economic, security, and political aspects of the situation in Gaza,” Mr. Biden said after the meeting, according to a statement released by the White House.
Biden also used his visit to press Egypt to keep the US-sponsored proximity talks with Israelis and Palestinians alive, and said progress toward direct negotiations is vital. “The status quo is unsustainable for all sides,” he said.
But while Biden praised Egypt’s “leadership and support," the US has little to show for relying on its key Mideast ally to push US policy in the region. Egypt, without the regional heft it once had, has been unable to deliver Palestinian reconciliation, and has been weakened by its participation in the Israeli blockade. It now faces intense internal and regional pressure from Egyptians angry about the blockade and resurgent regional powers who see an opening in Egypt’s failures.
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