U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met the UK‘s new chief diplomat David Lammy on Wednesday on the sidelines of a NATO summit in Washington, to discuss defense cooperation, Ukraine and the Gaza Strip.

“They discussed how both the United States and the United Kingdom are committed to investing in their respective defense capabilities,” State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said in a statement.

They also “reaffirmed the importance of ensuring Ukraine has the economic, security, and humanitarian assistance it needs to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity,” it said.

“The Secretary and Foreign Secretary also discussed the need to reach a ceasefire in Gaza that secures the release of hostages and lays the groundwork for durable peace,” the statement added.

Lammy said, meanwhile, that reports of civilian casualties following an Israeli strike near a school in Abassan in Gaza are “appalling.”

“The devastating violence in Gaza has gone on far too long and we want to see urgent measures to protect civilians, an immediate ceasefire and the release of all hostages,” he wrote on X.

At least 25 people were killed Tuesday and 53 injured in an Israeli strike on a school sheltering displaced people in Abasan in eastern Khan Younis in southern Gaza.

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