On March 6, 2013, John Kerry departed for Washington, ending his inaugural trip as Secretary of State to the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar. His travel concluded in Abu Dhabi and Doha, where he met with senior government officials to discuss our continued close coordination on a broad range of issues.
In Doha, Secretary Kerry met with Qatari Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani. The two leaders discussed the ongoing crisis in Syria, Middle East peace, and Afghanistan. Following their meeting, Secretary Kerry said:
"I want to thank [Prime Minister Hamad] for the excellent partnership that we have, especially during this very challenging time of change in this part of the world. We intend to continue to work very, very closely with you in the days and months and years ahead. We had a great discussion, a frank discussion, about the critical issues that we're facing. And on Syria, Qatar and the United States have worked very hard to strengthen international sanctions against the Assad regime, and to help the opposition build the unity and the effectiveness that they need in order to try to change President Assad's calculation on the ground."
While in Qatar, Secretary Kerry also participated in a series of interviews, including with Martha Raddatz of ABC, Nicole Gaouette of Bloomberg, Margaret Brennan of CBS, Jill Dougherty of CNN, James Rosen of Fox News, Andrea Mitchell of NBC, and Michele Kelemen of NPR. Go to www.state.gov for transcripts of the interviews.
Throughout the trip, journalists, our embassy colleagues, and others -- including you, members of the public -- captured the Secretary's travel with updates on social media, some of which we spotlighted via Storify. You can view more photographs and content from the trip on state.gov, Facebook, and Flickr, and we encourage you stay tuned to DipNote, Twitter, and all of our social media platforms for the latest on Secretary Kerry's travels.