Rome

U.S. Secretary of State in Rome for Mideast talks

Kerry to meet Letta, Bonino Thursday

U.S. Secretary of State in Rome for Mideast talks

Rome, May 8 - United State Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Rome Wednesday for talks with Italy's new and unprecedented right-left government. High on the agenda is how Italy can help revive the Middle East peace process after Kerry's recent tour of the area. Letta will meet Premier Enrico Letta at 12:30 Thursday and Foreign Minister Emma Bonino at 16:30. It is Kerry's second visit to Rome since taking office. While his first visit took place in the midst of political uncertainty in February, this time Kerry will meet with Letta (whom Kerry has called "a trusted friend of the US") and Bonino to discuss Syria, the Middle East, and ways to restart the Arab-Israeli peace process following the resurrection of the 2002 Saudi plan. This follows Kerry's two recent missions to the Middle East and his May 2 meeting in Washington with Israeli minister and coordinator for negotiations with the Palestinians, Tzipi Livni, and with Premier Benjamin Netanyahu's special envoy for the negotiations, Yitzhak Molcho. Kerry's next meeting with Livni, as well as with Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh, will take place in Rome. A Palestinian delegation may also be present. Kerry's visit to the Italian capital follows a two-day mission to Russia, where discussed a political solution to the Syrian crisis with President Vladimir Putin in light of recent allegations of chemical warfare in the Arab country. That civil war will also be on the agenda in Rome, Bonino said from an International Conference on Somalia in London Tuesday.

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