British foreign minister to travel to Middle East, including Egypt

LONDON (Reuters) -British foreign minister James Cleverly told parliament he would travel to the Middle East on Wednesday, outlining a diplomatic push which a British source said would include a visit to Egypt and possibly Qatar and Turkey.

Britain has called for “cool heads” following a blast at a hospital in Gaza that killed huge numbers of Palestinians and repeatedly said the Israel-Hamas conflict must not escalate to the wider region.

“I have travelled to Israel, I’ve engaged with G7 allies, regional partners, and will be visiting the region again later on today, because we recognise that this will require intensive efforts,” he told parliament.

Cleverly visited Israel last week following attacks by Palestinian militant group Hamas. He did not set out details of the itinerary of his latest trip.

In Egypt, he is expected to discuss the opening of a border crossing between Gaza and Egypt to allow humanitarian aid in and citizens to leave, the source said.

(Reporting by William James, editing by Elizabeth Piper)