Qatari PM hopes Gaza ceasefire proposal will be received positively

U.S. Secretary of State Blinken visits Qatar

CAIRO (Reuters) - Qatar's Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said on Saturday that mediators hope all parties will deal positively with the principles of a Gaza ceasefire proposal that U.S. President Joe Biden laid out on Friday.

Al Thani made the remarks during a phone call with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Qatar's state news agency said.

The principles in the ceasefire proposal "include the withdrawal of Israeli forces from all populated areas in Gaza, the release of detainees including women, the elderly, and the wounded in exchange for the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners and the entry of aid into the strip," Al Thani added.

Qatar, with Egypt, has been mediating ceasefire discussions between Israel and Palestinian militant faction Hamas. Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry also said in a phone call with Blinken on Saturday that his country would support all efforts to end the war in Gaza, the Egyptian foreign ministry said.

Al Thani, who is also Qatar's foreign minister, said in April the Gulf state was re-evaluating its role as mediator, citing concerns that its efforts were being undermined by politicians seeking to score points.

Qatar has faced criticism from within the United States and Israel over its ties to Hamas since Oct. 7.

Some 1,200 people were killed in the Oct. 7 attack and 252 others were abducted, according to Israeli tallies. More than 36,000 Palestinians have been killed in Israel's ensuing military onslaught on the Gaza Strip, say health officials in the Hamas-ruled enclave.

(Reporting by Hatem Maher and Enas Alashray; editing by Giles Elgood)