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Kerry heading off on nine-country trip

Published By United Press International
WASHINGTON, Feb. 20 (UPI) -- Newly minted U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is headed to Europe, the Middle East and Asia this month, a State Department spokeswoman said.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Kerry is to leave Sunday on his first trip as head of the department.

He is to visit Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.

Kerry travels first to London where he is to discuss bilateral and global issues with British officials.

While in Germany, Kerry is scheduled to exchange views with young Germans on European-American relations. The visit will also allow Kerry to reconnect with Berlin where he lived as a child.

In Paris, Kerry is to talk about international support for Mali with French officials.

After visiting Italy, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Kerry is to meet with leaders in Qatar before returning to the United States March 6, Nuland said.
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Tour de France concludes in Paris
Race winner Bradley Wiggins of Great Britain (C) stands between second place finisher Christopher Froome of Great Britain (L) and third place finisher Vincenzo Nibali of Italy on the presentation podium following the final stage of the Tour de France in Paris on July 22, 2012. Wiggins of Great Britain became that country's first ever overall winner of the Tour de France. UPI/David Silpa