Sec. of State John Kerry Skips Israel in First Official Trip Overseas, Will Visit 9 European and Middle Eastern Countries

In this Feb. 14, 2013 file photo, Secretary of State John Kerry speaks at the State Department in Washington. (Photo: AP)

Secretary of State John Kerry will make his first official trip overseas next week, with a jam-packed travel agenda that includes meetings in nine nations across Europe and the Middle East.

Despite expectations that he would visit Israel to push for more peace talks with the Palestinians ahead of President Obama’s first presidential trip next month, the State Department announced Tuesday that there will be no stops in Israel for John Kerry this trip.

He will, however, be stopping in: Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Qatar.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland explained that Kerry is bypassing Jerusalem and Ramallah while Israeli political parties continue to form a coalition government after recent elections.

“The secretary will be traveling there with the president when he visits later in the spring in lieu of making his own separate trip in February,” she explained.

Kerry departs for his trip on February 24, and will reportedly focus on the conflicts in Mali, Syria and Afghanistan.

“His visit to Berlin will also be an opportunity to reconnect with the city in which he lived as a child,” the State Department adds.

The 2004 presidential candidate, sworn in to replace Hillary Rodham Clinton earlier this month, is scheduled to return to Washington on March 6.

TheBlaze has reached out to Christians United for Israel and the Anti-Defamation League for comment.

Click here to read Kerry’s complete itinerary, courtesy of the State Department.

​The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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