Biden asks Egypt, Qatar leaders to help secure release of hostages held by Hamas

US President Joe Biden has urged the leaders of Egypt and Qatar to help secure the release of the hostages being held by Hamas.

The White House announced on Monday that Biden had spoken separately on the telephone with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Qatari Amir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani.

It said the president and the leaders discussed the deal now on the table to secure the release of the hostages together with an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

It said Biden confirmed that the United States will work with Egypt and Qatar to ensure that the deal's ceasefire terms are fully implemented.

The White House said Biden told the two leaders that the release of the hostages is the only obstacle to an immediate ceasefire and relief for civilians in Gaza.

Biden has sent US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to the Middle East, and he is approaching relevant countries in an effort to move the negotiations forward.