CIA chief in Doha to lead indirect ceasefire talks between Israel-Hamas

by IANS |

Tel Aviv, June 5 (IANS) The chief of the American spy agency, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), William Burns is in the Middle East and will head the indirect peace talks between Israel and Hamas.

The CIA chief, who has been instrumental in several back-to-back talks between Hamas and Israel, again reached the Middle East at the behest of Qatar and Egyptian mediators.

The American representative to the Middle East, Brett McGurk is also accompanying William Burns.

Sources in the Israel Defence Minister’s office told IANS that Burns will be meeting Qatar Prime Minister, Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman al-Thani and the Egyptian Intelligence Chief, Major General Abbas Kamel in Doha and Cairo to work on the ceasefire between the two warring factions.

The top American officials will also reach Israel after meetings in Doha and Cairo. Burns and McGurk will meet Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant.

As per the US-brokered ceasefire deal, the first phase would see the remaining female, elderly and sick Israeli hostages being released for a six-week truce. The second phase would lead to a permanent end to the war. The third phase would lead to the release of the mortal remains of those hostages who died in captivity. During the release of the Israeli hostages, Palestinian prisoners would also be released from Israeli prisons.

US President Joe Biden has stated that after the permanent end to the war, Hamas would not be in power in Gaza.

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