Kerry, speaking at UVa on Wednesday, to skip Israel on upcoming trip - The Daily Progress: News

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Kerry, speaking at UVa on Wednesday, to skip Israel on upcoming trip

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Posted: Tuesday, February 19, 2013 6:47 pm | Updated: 10:15 am, Wed Feb 20, 2013.

From staff and wire reports

Secretary of State John Kerry, who is speaking at the University of Virginia on Wednesday, will make his first official trip overseas next week, a jam-packed travel agenda that includes meetings in nine nations across Europe and the Middle East.

But there will be no stops in Israel or the Palestinian territories.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Kerry is bypassing Jerusalem and Ramallah while Israeli political parties continue to form a government after recent elections.

Kerry will speak at Old Cabell Hall at UVa at 11 Wednesday morning.

Kerry's speech will be his first major public address since taking on the role. Kerry chose UVa — founded by America's first secretary of state, Thomas Jefferson — for the speech.

University officials declined Tuesday to discuss potential traffic closures around Grounds as a result of Kerry's visit, citing security concerns, but Charlottesville police said they don't anticipate any city streets will be closed.

"Those who need to be in the central Grounds area Wednesday morning should expect lots of activity and should give themselves extra time to make it to their destinations," said UVa spokesman McGregor McCance.

UVa ran a lottery earlier this week for tickets to the event for students, faculty and staff.  Some guests were invited from the community, but no tickets were offered to the general public.

The event will also be livestreamed on the university's home page, and there will be remote viewing locations at Alumni Hall on Emmet Street and at Abbott Auditorium at the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration.

Kerry departs for his overseas trip Sunday. He will visit close U.S. allies and partners: Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Qatar. His diplomacy will focus on the conflicts in Mali, Syria and Afghanistan.

The 2004 presidential candidate, sworn in to replace Hillary Rodham Clinton earlier this month, is scheduled to return to Washington on March 6.

 

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