ADDIS ABABA — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry travels from Ethiopia to Jordan Sunday for a World Economic Forum that is expected to include talks on Syria.
Secretary Kerry meets with Jordanian King Abdullah on his arrival in Amman for more talks on ending the Syrian conflict. He then travels to the World Economic Forum at the Dead Sea where discussions are expected to include efforts to convene peace talks in Geneva that would, for the first time, bring together representatives from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his opponents.
While in Ethiopia for a meeting of the African Union, Secretary Kerry discussed the Syrian conflict with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and with Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi.
Ban briefed the secretary of state on his talks in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Ban said he and UN envoy Lakdar Brahimi are working hard to make the proposed Geneva talks a success. Kerry said he will need their help "to get something going with respect to Syria if we can."
President Morsi told Kerry that the Egyptian government supports the joint U.S./Russian initiative on Syria. Kerry told the president that Foreign Minister Mohammed Amr has been a great partner on Syria and Middle East peace efforts and he is grateful for the help.
From Jordan, Kerry travels to Paris Monday for a private dinner with Lavrov to discuss how best to bring together parties to the Syrian conflict and their supporters. Russia wants Iran to be involved in the process. The United States has, in the past, opposed Tehran's participation as it is an active military ally of President Assad, but U.S. officials say a final invitation list to these talks is still being worked out with the U.N.