PARIS, June 25 U.S. Secretary of State John
Kerry, grounded by an air controllers' work stoppage at Brussels
airport, hopped on a train for Paris late Wednesday to meet
Middle Eastern foreign ministers.
The two-hour stoppage disrupted air traffic at Brussels
airport where Kerry's plane was waiting to take him to Paris for
talks on Thursday that will focus on the regional repercussions
of the insurgency by Sunni militants in Iraq.
"Due to a potential delay in flights departing Brussels as a
result of an air traffic control strike, Secretary Kerry will
take the train from Brussels to Paris this evening," State
Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said before he left Brussels.
The Brussels Airport website said no flights would take off
or land between 6:45 p.m. and 8:45 p.m. because of the stoppage.
Kerry, who was attending a meeting at NATO headquarters
where foreign ministers were dealing with the crisis in Ukraine,
left for the train station immediately after a news conference.
He boarded a 6:13 p.m. train headed for Paris' Gare du Nord
accompanied by his security and top staff, including Assistant
Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland.
Kerry spent the hour-and-22-minute ride talking to his aides
about world events and the history of the French countryside he
traveled through, according to a reporter traveling with Kerry.
Kerry's family ancestral estate is in Saint Briac, Brittany
where he spent summers as a child and learned to speak French.
(Reporting by Lesley Wroughton; Editing by James Dalgleish)