BRUSSELS: US Secretary of State John Kerry will join the 28 EU foreign ministers meeting Saturday in Vilnius to discuss a series of issues, notably the Syrian conflict, officials said.
EU foreign affairs head Catherine Ashton said in an invitation letter to ministers that Kerry's attendance "will be a valuable opportunity to exchange views with him on key issues."
Ministers will also discuss Egypt, Syria and the Middle East Peace Process, Ashton said in the letter.
Kerry's trip to Lithuania comes as US President Barack Obama tries to drum up congressional backing for a punitive attack on Syria after charging President Bashar al-Assad of using chemical weapons against rebel forces.
Opinion in Washington is divided while Britain has backed out of any military commitment after a parliamentary vote blocked plans by Prime Minister David Cameron to join US forces in a retaliatory strike.
France is the only major European Union country still committed to military action against Damascus but even there, polls show public opinion to be reticent.
EU foreign ministers begin a two-day meeting Friday in Vilnius, with Lithuania hosting them as the current holder of the EU's six-month rotating presidency.
Ashton said in the letter that she would also hold discussions with EU defence ministers in Vilnius before the foreign ministers' meeting.