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Kerry Begins First Foreign Trip as Secretary of State

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry boards his plane at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., en route to London in his inaugural official trip as Secretary on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry boards his plane at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., en route to London in his inaugural official trip as Secretary on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013.
VOA News
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has begun his first trip abroad since taking over the country's top diplomatic position from Hillary Clinton early this month.

Kerry left Washington Sunday and headed to London - the first stop on his nine-country, 11-day tour.

John Kerry
 
  • Born December 11, 1943, in Colorado
  • Earned bachelor's degree at Yale, law degree at Boston College
  • Massachusetts lieutenant governor from 1983-1985
  • Has been a U.S. senator since 1985
  • Democratic candidate for president in 2004
  • Married to Teresa Heinz

 
The State Department says Syria will be a key topic of discussion when he meets with various international officials.  Kerry also plans to meet with the leadership of the Syrian Opposition Coalition during the trip.

From London, he heads to Berlin, then on to Paris where he will discuss Washington's ongoing cooperation with France and other countries in supporting troubled Mali.

Kerry's next stops will be Rome, Ankara and Cairo, where the State Department says he will push for greater political consensus, and meet with top Arab League officials to consult on shared challenges in the region.

Kerry then goes to Riyadh and Abu Dhabi before ending his trip with a stop in Doha, Qatar.

  • Senator John Kerry emerges after a unanimous vote by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approving him to become America's next top diplomat, January 29, 2013.
  • Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry arrives on Capitol Hill for the start of his confirmation hearing to replace Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, January 24, 2013.
  • John Kerry sits before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee he has served on for 28 years and led for the past four as he seeks confirmation as U.S. secretary of state, January 24, 2013.
  • John Kerry waves as he walks to the podium to address the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, September 6, 2012.
  • Barack Obama works the crowd during his first presidential campaign with John Kerry, during a rally at the College of Charleston campus in South Carolina, where Kerry endorsed Mr. Obama, January 10, 2008.
  • Then-Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry points toward the audience beside his wife Teresa Heinz Kerry after the presidential debate in Tempe, Arizona, October 13, 2004.
  • Then President George W. Bush and John Kerry greet each other at the end of their first presidential debate at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida, September 30, 2004.
  • John Kerry windsurfs off the coast of Nantucket, Massachusetts when he was the Democratic presidential candidate, August 30, 2004.
  • Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry along with his wife Teresa Heinz Kerry greet supporters during a fundraiser when he was the Democratic presidential candidate in Boston, Massachusetts, 2003.
  • Senator John Kerry is swarmed by supporters as he arrives for a re-election victory rally in Boston, Massachusetts, November 5, 1996.
  • John Kerry raises his arms in victory in this November 6, 1984 photo in a Boston hotel where he celebrated his defeat over Ray Shamie, in the Senate race.

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