- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Secretary of State John Kerry wrapped his meeting in France with President Francois Hollande just as U.S. officials announced they were nearing a decision about arming rebels in Syria, the nation once controlled by French rulers.

Tuesday, White House officials said the administration would soon announce whether the United States would give assistance to rebels fighting against Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime, The Associated Press reports. The officials made clear any assistance would be of the non-lethal type and would only go toward those opposition groups that had been fully vetted, AP said.

France — which once ruled Syria as a colonial nation — is similarly mulling how best to give support to opposition fighters without wading too deep into military territory, AP reported.

Against this backdrop, Mr. Kerry met with French rulers, as part of his first overseas diplomatic mission since taking the cabinet office. According to AP, one of Mr. Kerry’s main speaking topics on this tour is Syria. But he’s also focusing on the fate of Iran’s nuclear program.

Photographers captured Mr. Kerry speaking with Mr. Hollande on the steps of the Elysee Palace, chatting in French, AP reported.

Mr. Kerry seems to have wrapped his trip to France without making any diplomatic flubs. He’s made a couple high-profile ones so far, telling a German student body that Americans “have the right to be stupid” and mixing up the names of two countries to invent a new one, Kyrzakhstan.

SEE ALSO: John Kerry defends Americans’ ‘right to be stupid’ a day after inventing country named Kyrzakhstan

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