Kerry returns to Mideast, but not planning trip to Israel or West Bank


U.S. Secretary of State will be in Jordan this week, planning to meeting Palestinian President Abbas in Amman.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will return to the Middle East thisweek as rising tensions in Egypt and deteriorating conditions in Syria threatento overshadow his effort to re-launch Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

Kerry will depart Washington on Monday for Jordan, the State Department said,where he will see Arab League officials to discuss developments in Egypt sincethe military’s ouster of President Mohammed Morsi and the crisis in Syria asPresident Bashar Assad’s regime appears to have gained the upper hand againstthe opposition.

Neither Israel nor the Palestinian territories are on Kerry’sitinerary although the department says he is planning to meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Amman.

The trip is Kerry’s sixth to the region as secretary of state. Most of hisprevious visits have focused on the peace process



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