Top U.S. Diplomat to Visit Eastern Asia

Posted July 5th, 2012 at 2:30 pm (UTC-5)
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The U.S. State Department says Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is headed for Paris, then east Asia, to attend conferences on Syria and Afghanistan before making a historic visit to the east Asian nation of Laos.

Secretary Clinton is set to arrive in Paris on Thursday, where she will attend the third meeting of the Friends of the Syrian People, a contact group of nations hoping to find a solution to the violence in Syria. The State Department said she is to consult with her colleagues on steps to increase pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and support international efforts to end the violence and bring about a political transition.

She is also expected to consult about other concerns with French leaders and with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on relations with Israel.

From there, the Secretary is to travel to Tokyo for a conference on Afghanistan, where she will reaffirm the United States' enduring commitment to the Afghan people.

Later stops in her trip include Mongolia on July 9, Vietnam a day later, and on Wednesday of next week, she will arrive in the Laotian capital of Vientiane, becoming the first U.S. Secretary of State to visit the southeast Asian country in 57 years.