John Kerry’s Trip to the Mid East Focuses on War in Iraq, War on Terror, Global Health Crises, America’s Competitiveness in the Global Economyby Pamela Leavey
As I reported late yesterday, John Kerry is beginning a 12-day trip throughout the Mid East and Asia. Kerry’s trip will focus on the ongoing war in Iraq, the war on terror, global health crises, and America’s competitiveness in the global economy.
He will travel to several countries including Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Jordan, Kuwait, Israel and India.
John Kerry is traveling to the Middle East to focus on the steps that must be taken in Iraq and hear from experts in the region about the war in Iraq, the war on terror and the Middle East peace process. On the trip, he will meet with troops, American military commanders, American officials working in these countries, foreign government and embassy officials, as well as civil society leaders and democracy advocates.
Kerry is a twenty-year veteran of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he visited the region twice last year, once in January and once in August (returning right after hurricane Katrina).
Below are highlights from John Kerry’s busy itinerary. There will be press opportunities at various locations and The Democratic Daily will provide news on the trip when available. Given logistics and events in the region, we are told that Kerry’s schedule may change.
Tuesday, January 10 – London:
Kerry will meet with British Intelligence Officials and Gordon Brown, British Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Wednesday, January 11 – India:
Kerry will meet with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (tentative), Congress Party President Sonia Gandhi (tentative), and National Security Advisor MK Narayanan.
Thursday, January 12 – New Delhi & Hyderabad, India:
** 10:00 a.m Press Conference at Observer Research Foundation
20, Rouse Avenue Institutional Area
New Delhi – 110 002, INDIA
Kerry will visit Dell’s India operation and a biotech company, meet with AIDS patients at the Government Chest Hospital, and speak with leaders of the American Chamber of Commerce.
He will also meet with Chief Minister Dr. YS Rajasekhara Reddy and Opposition Leader N. Chandrababu Naidu.
Friday, January 13 – Mumbai, India:
Kerry will tour Datamatics, an Indian outsourcing company that services a wide range of U.S. firms.
Kerry will meet with Deepak Parekh, Chairman of HDFC, and Indian CEOs to discuss the investment climate in India and the future of U.S./India commercial and economic ties. He will also meet with members of the Foreign Investors’ Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
Kerry will meet with S.K. Jain, Chairman of the Nuclear Power Corporation of India, who will brief the Senator on the prospects for nuclear energy in India and the commercial perspectives arising out of the July 18 framework. This is the state-owned company which runs India’s civil nuclear power plants.
Saturday, January 14 – Pakistan:
Kerry will visit Balakot, the city that was destroyed by an earthquake in October, and visit the Mehra Tent Camp, where he will tour the “Save the Children” distribution of uniforms and backpacks sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development.
** NOTE: Kerry’s tour of the USAID distribution is open to the press.
He will also meet with Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz.
Sunday, January 15 – Pakistan:
Meet with President Musharraf and Senate Chairman Muhammadien Soomroo.
Monday, January 16 – Afghanistan:
Kerry will spend much of the day with U.S. troops. He will also visit a Provincial Reconstruction Team and meet with First Vice President Achmad Zia Massoud.
Tuesday, January 17 – Israel & Jordan:
In Israel, Kerry has meetings tentatively scheduled with Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert; Simon Peres, former prime minister and former leader of the Labor Party; Benjamin Netanyahu, head of Israel’s Likud Party; and Amir Peretz, head of Israel’s Labor Party. He will also meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
In Jordan, Kerry has meetings tentatively scheduled with King Abdullah and the General Intelligence Directorate. There, Kerry will also meet with civil society activists, former cabinet officials and others to discuss issues important to the region.
Wednesday, January 18 – Iraq:
In Iraq, Kerry’s itinerary will focus primarily on the issues and steps relating to the formation of a new, stable Iraqi government. Beyond meetings with key Iraqi players and U.S. officials, Kerry will spend time with American troops serving there including a group from Massachusetts his office has “sponsored” who are stationed near Ramadi.
Kerry will meet with General Casey and receive intelligence and security briefings from U.S. officials. He will visit a reconstruction site with Ambassador Khalilzad and meet with key Iraqi political leaders.
Thursday, January 19 – Iraq:
Kerry will meet with Prime Minister Jafari and the Board of Commissioners for the Independent Elections Commission of Iraq.
Kerry’s trip to the Middle East shows his committment to issues that are of great concern and echoes the type of leadership we should see from the President.