Kerry 1st trip to Europe, Mideast; no Israel stop
WASHINGTON – Secretary of State John Kerry will bypass Israel on his first official trip to the Middle East, U.S. officials said Tuesday as they announced a jam-packed itinerary through nine nations, including several in Europe.
Kerry's maiden voyage begins Sunday. He will visit close U.S. allies and partners in Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Qatar. His diplomacy will focus on the conflicts in Mali, Syria and Afghanistan, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.
But there will be no stops in Israel or the Palestinian territories, which together have formed an epicenter of American diplomatic efforts over the past six decades.
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