On Sunday night, John Kerry arrived in London to begin his first overseas visit as Secretary of State, and we could not have been more pleased to welcome him to the United Kingdom for the inaugural leg of his journey. As he said in a press conference, it is no accident "the remarkable partner that is the United Kingdom" was selected as his first stop. This enthusiasm was shared by UK Foreign Secretary William Hague, who tweeted a warm greeting to Secretary Kerry in honor of the "special" bilateral relationship.
The Secretary began the day by participating in a working breakfast with British Prime Minister David Cameron at Number 10 Downing Street, where the pair discussed U.S.-EU trade negotiations. Earlier this month, President Obama made it clear the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is a top priority for the United States. Europe is already America's largest trading partner, and this agreement will create more jobs and spur additional investment.
Secretary Kerry followed breakfast with a tour of the Houses of Parliament, guided by House of Commons Speaker John Bercow and British Foreign Secretary William Hague. Secretary Kerry then met with senior British government officials, including Hague and MI-6 Chief John Sawers. Kerry and Hague discussed a number of areas of mutual interest, including Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, the Middle East peace process, and support for fragile democracies across the world. You can watch Secretary Kerry's joint press availability with Hague on YouTube, and view photographs of their visit on our Flickr account.
After concluding his meetings with senior British government officials, and before departing for Berlin, Secretary Kerry stopped by the U.S. Embassy to meet and greet embassy officials and their families and express his appreciation for their hard work and preparation for his visit.
Secretary continues his travel to Germany, France, Italy, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar through March 6. You can follow his trip on www.state.gov.