On July 6, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton begins an eight-nation trip to France, Japan, Mongolia, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Egypt, and Israel. In France, Secretary Clinton will attend the third meeting of the Friends of the Syrian People to consult with her colleagues on steps to increase pressure on the Assad regime and to support UN-Arab League Special Envoy Annan's efforts to end the violence and facilitate a political transition to a post-Assad Syria. While in Paris, Secretary Clinton will consult with French leaders regarding next steps on Syria as well as on a number of other key areas of global concern. As part of her ongoing consultations with senior Palestinian and Israeli leaders, the Secretary will also meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to discuss both parties' efforts to pursue a dialogue and build on President Abbas' exchange of letters with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
After her travel to France, Secretary Clinton will begin her six-day excursion through Asia. Her first stop will be Tokyo, Japan, to attend the July 8 Conference on Afghanistan, where she will reaffirm the United States' enduring commitment to the Afghan people and join the international community in supporting Afghanistan's development needs for the "transformation decade" to begin in 2015. Secretary Clinton will then travel to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, where she will meet with President Elbegdorj and Prime Minister Batbold to address the meeting of the Governing Council of the Community of Democracies, as well as an international women's conference. On July 10, she travels to Hanoi, Vietnam, where she will meet with senior Vietnamese leaders to witness the signing of several agreements covering education exchanges and commercial contracts.
As the first Secretary of State to set foot in Laos in 57 years, Secretary Clinton will embark on a groundbreaking visit to the country. In Vientiane, the Secretary will meet with Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong and other senior government officials to discuss a variety of bilateral and regional issues, including the Lower Mekong Initiative and ASEAN integration efforts.
To conclude her travels in Asia, Secretary Clinton will participate in regional conferences and bilateral meetings in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Regional conferences include the ASEAN Regional Forum, the East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers Meeting, and the U.S.-ASEAN Post-Ministerial Conference. Secretary Clinton will co-chair the Lower Mekong Initiative (LMI) Ministerial as well as chair the Friends of the Lower Mekong Ministerial Meeting. Secretary Clinton will also participate in bilateral meetings with senior Cambodian leadership. After Phnom Penh, Secretary Clinton will travel to Siem Reap to deliver the keynote address at the Lower Mekong Initiative Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment Dialogue on July 13.
The following day, Secretary Clinton will begin her travels in the Middle East. On July 14, Secretary Clinton will travel to Egypt to express the United States' support for Egypt's democratic transition and economic development. She will conclude her travels in Egypt by holding several meetings with government officials in addition to inaugurating the U.S. Consulate General in Alexandria. The final stop of Secretary Clinton's trip will be Israel, where she will meet with Israeli leadership to discuss peace efforts and a range of regional and bilateral issues of mutual concern.