Last updated: 20 June, 2014

Kerry to head Sunday to Europe and Middle East for Iraq talks

US Secretary of State John Kerry heads abroad Sunday for talks on the crisis in Iraq, seeking to find ways to end deep sectarian divisions threatening to tear the country apart.

From June 22 to 27, Kerry will travel to Amman and then onto Brussels and Paris “to consult with partners and allies on how we can support security, stability, and the formation of an inclusive government in Iraq,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Friday.

He will also discuss the situation in the Middle East and attend a NATO foreign ministers meeting.

As he unveiled plans to send up to 300 military advisors to Iraq to help stem a surprise militant onslaught, President Barack Obama said Thursday he was dispatching Kerry on a diplomatic mission to shore up Iraqi stability.

In Amman, Kerry will meet with Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh, before traveling to Brussels for the NATO talks focusing on the alliance’s summit later this year in Britain and “the ongoing crisis in Ukraine,” Psaki said.

In Paris, “the secretary will meet with key regional partners and Gulf allies on Middle East security challenges, including Iraq and Syria,” she added.

Although sources have said Kerry could travel to Iraq soon, there has not been any official confirmation or timing from the State Department as to when the trip could happen.