US secretary of state arriving for key talks



RIYADH : ABDUL HANNAN TAGO

Published — Thursday 21 February 2013

Last update 21 February 2013 12:14 am

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US Secretary of State John Kerry will visit the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the first week of March as part of his first international tour after taking office earlier this month, the US Embassy disclosed yesterday.
The tour, which will start on Feb. 24 and end March 6, will take him to eight other nations in both Europe and the Middle East. While in Saudi Arabia, the secretary will meet with the Saudi leadership and discuss US-Saudi cooperation on a broad range of shared concerns.
He will also participate in a ministerial meeting with counterparts from Gulf Cooperation Council nations.
Kerry will travel to the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.
The secretary will travel first to London, where he will meet with senior British officials to discuss the range of bilateral and global issues on which we are closely coordinating.
He will then visit Berlin, Germany, where he will hold bilateral meetings on issues of mutual interest, as well as make a number of public appearances, including an exchange of views with German young people on the state of European-American relations. His visit to Berlin will also be an opportunity to reconnect with the city in which he lived as a child.
Secretary Kerry will then travel to Paris to discuss with French officials the ongoing cooperation as part of the international effort to support Mali, as well as other issues of regional and global importance.
In Rome, he will meet with senior Italian government officials and participate in a number of bilateral and multilateral meetings with our European allies to review the wider trans-Atlantic relationship and to discuss issues of global concern. While in Rome, Secretary Kerry will participate in multilateral meetings on Syria, and with the leadership of the Syrian Opposition Coalition.
Secretary Kerry will then travel to Ankara, Turkey, where he will meet with Turkish officials to discuss strategic priorities — from ending the crisis in Syria to promoting regional stability, peace, and security — as well as explore areas to deepen US-Turkey bilateral cooperation, including counterterrorism cooperation.
In Cairo, he will meet with senior Egyptian officials, other political leaders, civil society leaders, and the business community to encourage greater political consensus and moving forward on economic reforms. While in Cairo, the Secretary will also meet with Arab League Secretary General Al-Araby to consult on our many shared challenges across the region.

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