Secretary of State Kerry to begin first foreign trip on Feb 24
Washington, DC, United States (4E) – U.S. State Department on Tuesday announced that Secretary of State John Kerry would embark on his first foreign visit on February 24.
The Department said that Kerry would visit nine countries in Europe and Middle East.
Talking to reporters, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said he will visit Britain on the first leg of his trip before flying off to Germany, France, Italy, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar through March 6.
Nuland said that Kerry’s first trip would be more of a listening tour, adding that he would hold a meeting with the Syrian opposition and those who support anti-regime forces. “He’ll look forward to hearing from the Syrian Opposition Coalition, what more they think we can do, and also to hear from counterparts who are deeply involved in supporting the opposition,” Nuland said.
He will also discuss Syria issue with Turkey, Egypt and Qatar.
In Cairo, he is expected to meet political leaders to encourage them for a greater political consensus amid an ongoing turmoil after the ouster of former leader Hosni Mubarak.
During his Cairo visit, he will meet Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi and will meet foreign ministers from Gulf Arab kingdoms in Saudi capital Riyadh. Nuland stated that Kerry would not go to Israel or the Palestinian territories since Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is still not over with the government formation.