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Kerry opts against Middle East trip

Confirming earlier reports, US Secretary of State John Kerry has decided not to make an immediate trip to the Middle East to push diplomatic efforts toward a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.

For several days Kerry has been weighing whether to extend his current diplomatic swing of Asia and Europe. US officials say he has considered trips to Israel, Egypt and elsewhere in the region.

But officials now say he will end the nine-day trip on Tuesday and head home.

US Secretary of State John Kerry attends a joint press conference with Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Hassan Shoukry (unseen) on June 22, 2014 in Cairo. (photo credit: AFP Photo/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI)
US Secretary of State John Kerry attends a joint press conference with Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Hassan Shoukry (unseen) on June 22, 2014 in Cairo. (photo credit: AFP Photo/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI)

Kerry is in Vienna for talks with Iran’s foreign minister and European partners. Together, they are trying to advance struggling negotiations aimed at curtailing Iran’s nuclear program.

— The Associated Press

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