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Kerry in Abu Dhabi for talks on Syria peace plan

The American envoy is spearheading international efforts to halt Syria’s four-and-half-year civil war

Published: Updated:

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Abu Dhabi on Monday to meet his Emirati counterparts on efforts to build a Syrian opposition coalition to lead peace talks with the Damascus regime.

Kerry has scheduled meetings with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan and United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan.

U.S. officials said he also hoped to meet Saudi officials.

The American envoy is spearheading international efforts to halt Syria’s four-and-half-year civil war by putting opposition and rebel factions around a table with Bashar al-Assad’s government.

Major powers with an interest in the conflict have set an ambitious target date of Jan. 1 for talks and a ceasefire to begin, but the participants have yet to be identified.

Monday’s one-day stopover in Abu Dhabi is the first leg of a Middle East tour that will also take Kerry to Israel and the Palestinian territories on Tuesday for talks on an upsurge of violence there.