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Top U.S. diplomat kicks off nine-nation "listening tour"

Monday, Feb 25, 2013 - 01:32

Feb. 25 - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry kicked off his first official overseas trip with a stop in London to meet with his British counterpart in a trip that will include stops in Berlin, Riyadh and Abu Dhabi. Deborah Gembara reports.

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TV AND WEB RESTRICTIONS~**NONE*~ John Kerry, kicked off his first overseas trip as the U.S.'s top diplomat with a stop in London and a meeting with his British counterpart William Hague. While the nine-nation trip is being called a "listening tour," Kerry took the opportunity to weigh in on Syria. SOUNDBITE: U.S. Secretary Of State, John Kerry, Saying: "The Assad regime has rained down rockets on Aleppo in recent days, and that is just the latest example of Assad's brutality. We condemn this indiscriminate killing of innocent civilians (EDIT). And it is just further evidence that Assad has to go." He also addressed Iran. SOUNDBITE: U.S. Secretary Of State, John Kerry, Saying: "President Obama has been crystal clear about this, and as we've repeatedly made clear that the window for a diplomatic solution simply cannot by definition remain open forever, but it is open today. (EDIT) We're prepared to negotiate in good faith, in mutual respect, in an effort to avoid whatever terrible consequences that could follow failure. So the choice really is in the hands of the Iranians, and we hope they will make the right choice." Kerry's 11-day trip will include stops in nine countries including Germany, France, Turkey, Egypt, and Italy. In Rome, he is is expected to meet with members of Syria's opposition and well as a a wider group of nations interested in helping oust President Bashar al-Assad.

Top U.S. diplomat kicks off nine-nation "listening tour"

Monday, Feb 25, 2013 - 01:32

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