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Kerry to travel to France, Kuwait ahead of Syria conference

Updated: 2014-01-09 10:27
( Xinhua)

WASHINGTON -- US Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to France and Kuwait from January 11 to 15 ahead of a key peace conference on Syria crisis, State Department said on Wednesday.

In the French capital Paris, the top US envoy will attend a ministerial meeting of the London 11, a group of countries backing the Syrian opposition, to discuss issues on Syria ahead of the Geneva II conference, which is slated for January 22, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement.

The London 11 comprises the US, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will meet in Paris on January 13 with an agenda focused on "preparations for the Geneva conference," Psaki said at a press conference Tuesday.

UN acting deputy spokesman Farhan Haq on Monday expressed the hope that Kerry and Lavrov would reach an agreement on Iran's participation in the conference.

Kerry will also meet with representatives of the Arab League's Arab Peace Initiative Follow-up Committee to update them on the ongoing final status negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians, Psaki said in the statement.

In Kuwait, Kerry will lead the U.S. delegation to the Second International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria in Kuwait (Kuwait II), co-hosted by the Amir of Kuwait and chaired by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

With foreign countries, international organizations and NGOs attending the Kuwait II, Kerry will discuss humanitarian issues surrounding the crisis in Syria, as well as its neighbors, Psaki said.

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