BEIRUT

Middle East

Kerry opts against a Mideast mediation trip

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry leaves the hotel where closed-door nuclear talks on Iran take place in Vienna, Austria, , Monday, July 14, 2014. (AP/Ronald Zak)

VIENNA: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has decided not to make an immediate trip to the Middle East to push diplomatic efforts toward a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.

For several days Kerry has been weighing whether to extend his current diplomatic swing of Asia and Europe. U.S. officials say he has considered trips to Israel, Egypt and elsewhere in the region.

But officials now say he will end the nine-day trip Tuesday and head home.

Kerry is in Vienna for talks with Iran's foreign minister and European partners. Together, they are trying to advance struggling negotiations aimed at curtailing Iran's nuclear program.

 

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