Kerry heads for Mideast to discuss Iran deal, IS but skips Israel

Kerry said on Friday that in his talks with Lavrov he planned to discuss combating Islamic State militants and the role Iran could play after Turkey agreed to step up its effort and to allow US jets launch air strikes from a base near the Syrian border.


Russia has been trying to bring about rapprochement between the Syrian government and regional states including Saudi Arabia and Turkey, to forge an alliance to fight Islamic State.


On Aug. 4 Kerry will visit Singapore for talks that will coincide with the city state’s 50th independence anniversary.


He will deliver a speech there on US trade and investment in East Asia, before a stop in Malaysia from Aug. 4-6 for meetings with the 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations, many of which share US concerns about China’s increasingly assertive pursuit of territorial claims in the region.


Kerry will visit Hanoi from Aug. 6-8, where he will participate in an event to mark the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations after the Vietnam War.


Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore and their fellow ASEAN member Brunei are US negotiating partners in a 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact, which Washington hopes to conclude this year.


Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and another ASEAN country, the Philippines, are also rival claimants along with Taiwan to territory China claims in the South China Sea.


Last week, US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia Daniel Russel said Kerry would repeat a call in Malaysia for a halt to land reclamation and militarization of disputed South China Sea territory.


Read More: Kerry heads for Mideast to discuss Iran deal, IS but skips Israel | i24news – See beyond

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