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Biden Penned Letters to Egypt and Qatar Urging them to InfluenceHamas to Hostage Deal Agreement

Biden Penned Letters to Egypt and Qatar Urging them to InfluenceHamas to Hostage Deal Agreement
Source: Getty Images, Biden Penned Letters to Egypt and Qatar Urging them to Influence Hamas to Hostage Deal Agreement

President Joe Biden has penned letters to the leaders of Egypt and Qatar, urging them to influence Hamas to consent to a deal that would see the release of hostages. This request comes as part of a broader effort to secure a ceasefire and alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

The letters, addressed to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi and Qatar’s ruling emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, highlight the urgency of the situation. The U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, revealed that the first phase of the proposed deal would focus on the release of women, the elderly, and those who are sick or wounded.

Biden's correspondence aligns with his administration's intensified efforts to resolve the hostage situation, which has seen American citizens among those detained. The President's national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, is scheduled to meet with family members of the hostages to discuss the ongoing crisis and the government's actions.

The initiative also involves CIA Director William Burns, who is set to engage in talks in Cairo over the weekend. These discussions are expected to include David Barnea, the head of Mossad, Israel’s spy agency, along with negotiators from Egypt and Qatar. The Hamas side of the talks is indirect, with proposals relayed through third parties to Hamas leaders sheltering in tunnels beneath Gaza.

The White House has emphasized that negotiating a pause in the fighting between Israel and Hamas is crucial to facilitate the exchange of hostages held in Gaza for Palestinian prisoners held in Israel. This exchange is seen as the only viable path to implementing a temporary ceasefire and boosting the flow of humanitarian aid into the territory.