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Newsline: US top diplomat says Ukraine war has ‘deadly’ impact on Arab region

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is having a “deadly” impact in the Arab world, particularly through spiralling wheat prices, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in Algiers Wednesday. He was speaking on the final leg of a trip that began with an unprecedented Israeli-Arab summit in the Negev desert, attended by Blinken and the foreign ministers of Israel, Egypt and three Arab countries that normalised ties with the Jewish state in 2020. Import-dependent North African countries face what Blinken described as a “disaster” as the war in Ukraine sends shock-waves through global wheat and fuel markets. Both Russia and Ukraine are major wheat producers, while Moscow is a major global supplier of oil and gas. The Russian military campaign has had “deadly consequences for citizens in the region”, he told journalists in the capital of Algeria. “It’s having a direct impact on their lives right now, particularly with regard to rising food prices… especially wheat,” he said. (https://news.yahoo.com/ukraine-war-deadly-impact-arab-180647438.html) Blinken flew in Wednesday morning from Algeria’s arch-rival Morocco, which in 2020 normalised ties with Israel under a deal that sparked renewed tensions between Algiers and Rabat over the disputed territory of Western Sahara.

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