Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-MA) — who is “juggling climate change, aid to Pakistan and Congressional oversight of the war in Afghanistan — plunges this week into yet another major international conundrum: Middle East peace,” the Boston Globe reports.
Kerry departs today to the region "to investigate the political situation in Syria and Lebanon and the prospects for progress in the Arab-Israeli Peace Process," according to a schedule provided by his office.
He arrives in Beirut on Wednesday to meet Prime Minister Saad Hariri, President Michel Suleiman and Nabih Berri, Speaker of Parliament. Then he will move on to Syria — a country the Bush administration treated like a rogue regime, but which the Obama administration has sought to engage.
On Thursday, Kerry will meet with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem.
Syria is a “key to the Middle East conflict because Damascus hosts the leaders of Hamas and supports Hezbollah, an anti-Israeli Shi’ite group.”
(credit image – associated press)