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Kerry heading to Europe to discuss Syria

Last Updated: Friday, September 6, 2013 - 00:21

Washington: US Secretary of State John Kerry would travel to Europe to garner support from key American allies for a military strike against Syria and discuss efforts to negotiate a peace accord between Israel and the Palestinians.

Beginning September 6, Kerry would travel to Lithunia, which currently hold the presidency of European Union; France and Britain, his spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters.

On September 6, Kerry in Lithunia will meet with the EU Foreign Ministers in informal session, hosted by the Lithuanians, to discuss the Middle East, including Syria, Egypt, and ongoing direct, final status negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians, she said.

Kerry will travel to France on September 7.

While in Paris, he will meet with senior French government officials to discuss a range of bilateral and global issues.

On September 8, Kerry will meet with representatives of the Arab League, she added.

The Secretary of State will then travel to the United Kingdom.

On September 9 in London, he will meet with senior British government officials to discuss the broad range of issues on the transatlantic and global agenda.

While in London, he will also meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to discuss a range of issues including the ongoing, direct, final status negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians, Psaki said.

Refuting that there are any differences between Obama and Kerry on Syria issue, Psaki said the reason the US President and the Secretary of State feel so strongly about taking action is to send the clear message that there are consequences to the use of chemical weapons, to violating this international norm.

Kerry supported his decision, and has consistently advocated for congressional consultation and participation throughout, not just this process but any other international process, she added.

Both Obama and Kerry are confident that Congress will support this effort.

"We`ve been building that support over the past several days, and the secretary will continue to play a role in making that case to his former colleagues," she said in response to a question.

"We are confident through our conversations, through working with members of Congress. We are confident that they are not going to stand by and allow this brutal attack to go unanswered," she added.

In terms of bringing all sides to the table, Psaki said it is America`s hope that it can work to a point where there`s a recognition by all sides that there isn`t a military solution, that they don`t want to continue on a path where there`s a military component of this.


First Published: Friday, September 6, 2013 - 00:21

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