John Kerry to visit Europe, Middle East in first overseas trip

Photo: John Kerry to visit Europe, Middle East in first overseas trip  / Other News

US Secretary of State John Kerry will visit allies in London, Berlin, Paris and Rome before heading to the Middle East and North Africa in his first international trip as the top US diplomat, the State Department said Tuesday, DPA reported.

The trip Sunday through March 6 will see Kerry meet with British officials before heading to Germany, where he is to hold bilateral meetings with Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, according to German officials.

"He'll also have a chance in Berlin to exchange views with German young people on the state of European-American relations. And his visit to Berlin will also be an opportunity for him to reconnect with a city in which he lived as a child," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.

Kerry will then travel to Paris for talks on international efforts in Mali. In Rome and Ankara his plans include multilateral talks on Syria.

Kerry will also visit Cairo to "encourage greater political consensus and moving forward on economic reforms" as well as meet with Arab League Secretary General Nabil Al-Araby.

The trip will wrap up with visits to Riyadh, Abu Dhabi and Doha for talks with leaders on regional issues in the Middle East as well as a ministerial meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council in Saudi Arabia.

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