WASHINGTON: U.S. Central Intelligence Agency Director William Burns plans to meet with Israeli, Egyptian and Qatari officials in coming days for talks on a potential Gaza hostage deal, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Thursday.
The Washington Post, which first reported Burns’ trip, said Israel has proposed a two-month pause in fighting to allow for the phased release of the hostages still being held following Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel, citing officials familiar with the matter.
Burns “has been… involved in helping us with the hostage deal that was in place and trying to help us pursue another one,” White House national security spokesman John Kirby told reporters traveling with U.S. President Joe Biden aboard Air Force One, referring specific questions to the agency.
Israel, Hamas working toward new truce, hostage deal
The CIA, which has a policy of not disclosing the director’s travel, declined to comment.
Burns’ dispatch by Biden to speak with officials, including, Qatari Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, comes as Israel’s retaliatory military campaign against Hamas continues into its fourth month.