Kerry eyes Europe, Mideast for first trip overseas

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry has a full plate of global crises as he plots his maiden voyage abroad: Egypt in chaos, Syria engulfed in civil war, moribund Mideast peace talks and North Korea threatening to detonate an atomic bomb while Iran moves closer to developing one of its own.

Kerry has to deal with all of these unresolved diplomatic crises even as he looks to put his personal stamp on American diplomacy and prepares for President Barack Obama's upcoming visit to the Middle East.

Diplomats say the 2004 presidential candidate is likely to embark on his first trip as secretary to Europe and the Middle East in the last week of February. He is expected in several European capitals and Israel, the Palestinian territories and possibly Egypt.

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