- The Washington Times - Monday, February 25, 2013

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry opened his first official trip abroad with a Monday meeting in London with British leaders to affirm one key allied principle: Iran cannot be allowed to develop nuclear weapons.

Prime Minister David Cameron’s spokesman, Jean-Christophe Gray, said the pair “reiterated their shared determination to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran,” just before talks are set to go forth in Kazakhstan, among Security Council powers and Tehran officials, according to a report by The Associated Press.

Mr. Kerry and Mr. Cameron also discussed the possibility of a U.S.-EU free trade agreement — something that’s been pushed by European leaders for years, and that President Obama recently expressed interest in, according to various media reports. Last week, Germany’s Angela Merkel was the latest to push for a U.S. trade pact with the European Union, characterizing it as a win-win that could lead to a global influence with policy-setting powers.

Mr. Kerry is making a nine-day trip through Europe and the Middle East — minus Israel. He said earlier that he was skipping Israel to allow for politicos there to resettle and regroup, following the nations’ recent elections.

AP reports that Mr. Kerry and Mr. Cameron also discussed Syria, Libya and Egypt, though few details were released about the specifics of those talks. Next up for Mr. Kerry: A meeting with U.K. Foreign Secretary William Hague, to talk about the Falkland Islands, and then on to Germany for several meetings in Berlin, AP reports.