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Axios-Pres. Herzog Meets w/Qatari PM To Talk Hostage Deal


Axios reporting that according to its sources, Israeli President Isaac Herzog held clandestine talks with Qatari PM Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference "to discuss the negotiations aimed at securing the release of the hostages in Gaza,"

  • A direct meeting between such senior Israeli and Qatari politicians is rare, and highlights the high stakes of the negotiations. Securing the release of Hamas-held Israeli hostages is seen as a key step towards an eventual ceasefire in Gaza.
  • Earlier this week spy chiefs from the US, Egypt, Qatar, and Israel met in Cairo to discuss the prospect of a deal. While some small progress is seen to have been made, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu's refused to send an Israeli delegation to Cairo for subsequent talks.
  • Any talks between Herzog and al Thani are likely to raise hopes of any negotiations moving in a direction towards, rather than away from, a deal and ceasefire. However, this is likely to prove reliant more on the actions of the IDF and Hamas rather than the two leaders.

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