U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will visit nine countries in Europe and the Middle East as he embarks on his first foreign trip as the top U.S. diplomat on February 24.
The State Department said on February 19 that Kerry will visit Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar through March 6.
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said that in Rome, Kerry will take part in a meeting with the Syrian opposition and countries which support the forces seeking the ouster of President Bashar al-Assad.
Kerry will also discuss Syria with regional allies including Turkey, Egypt and Qatar.
Kerry was sworn in as secretary of state on February 1, replacing Hillary Clinton.
Based on reporting by AFP, dpa, and Reuters