US Secretary of State Blinken to visit Germany, France and Italy

Photo: AP US Secretary of State Antony Blinken

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is to travel to Germany next week for talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel and to participate in a conference on Libya hosted by Foreign Minister Heiko Maas before going on to France and Italy, dpa reported. Blinken will hold talks with Merkel in Berlin on Wednesday, government spokesman Steffen Seibert said.

"On the same day, he will take part in the second Libya conference at the Foreign Ministry at the invitation of Foreign Minister Heiko Maas," Seibert added.

Maas and Blinken will also hold bilateral talks on foreign policy issues, a Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said.

On Thursday, the two ministers are to sign an agreement on closer cooperation between the US and Germany at the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe near the Brandenburg Gate.

Blinken then travels to France where he is scheduled to meet President Emmanuel Macron and Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian in Paris on 25 June the State Department said in Washington.

From there, Blinken travels to Italy for where he will lead a meeting of the coalition to counter Islamic State in Rome with Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio. Talks on Syria are expected to be held on the sidelines. Following bilateral talks with Di Maio and President Sergio Mattarella, Blinken plans to proceed to the Vatican to meet high-ranking church representatives.

At the end of the European trip, Blinken is due to join G20 foreign ministers at their gathering in Bari and Matera in southern Italy.

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