U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has arrived in London, at the start of his first official trip overseas since taking over the country's top diplomatic position earlier this month.
Kerry will meet with British Prime Minister David Cameron and Foreign Secretary William Hague Monday before continuing on to Germany, France, Italy, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.
The State Department says Syria will be a key topic of discussion when he meets with various international officials in what Kerry described as his "listening tour." He also plans to meet with the leadership of the Syrian opposition coalition during the trip.
While in Berlin, he is expected to meet with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov. Washington and Moscow have divergent stances on how to deal with Syria, and bilateral relations have cooled over U.S. plans to build a missile defense system in Europe.
The State Department says that in Paris, Kerry will discuss Washington's ongoing cooperation with France and other countries in an effort to stabilize Mali, the African country plagued by an Islamist insurgency.
In the Middle East, Kerry will meet with top Arab League officials to discuss challenges in the region and seek greater consensus on how to solve them.