U.S. Sen. John Kerry (D-MA). (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON (AP) - Secretary of State John Kerry is embarking on his first official overseas voyage, bringing new ideas to capitals in Europe and the Middle East on how to end nearly two years of brutal violence in Syria.
Kerry leaves Washington on Sunday on a grueling nine-nation, 10-day trip that will bring him to America's traditional western European allies of Britain, Germany, France and Italy along with Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. In addition to Syria, he will focus on conflicts in Mali and Afghanistan and Iran's nuclear program.
Despite the numerous Middle East stops. Kerry will not travel to Israel or the Palestinian territories. He will wait to visit them when President Barack Obama goes there in March.