- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Secretary of State John Kerry heads off next week for his first overseas trip — a nine-nation journey, that nonetheless skips Israel.

His travel itinerary includes stops in Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Qatar, according to the Associated Press. He’ll focus diplomatic talks around ongoing conflicts in Mali, Syria and Afghanistan, according to AP.

But nothing happening in Israel, or with the Palestinians. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Mr. Kerry wants to give Israeli politicians time to form their coalition government absent outside influence, AP reports. The nation just wrapped up its election; Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu won reelection.

Mr. Kerry’s trip will go from Feb. 24 to March 6, AP reports.

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