Press Statement
Jen Psaki
Department Spokesperson
Washington, DC
December 9, 2013

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to Jerusalem, Ramallah, Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Tacloban, and Manila from Dec. 11-18, 2013.

In Jerusalem, Secretary Kerry will meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu to discuss a range of issues including Iran and the ongoing final status negotiations with the Palestinians. In Ramallah, Secretary Kerry will meet with President Abbas, where he will also discuss the ongoing final status negotiations, among other issues.

This trip to Asia will be his fourth to the region since becoming Secretary of State (he also traveled to Sunnylands, Calif., in June with the President to meet Chinese Premier Xi). Within the Asia-Pacific rebalance, Southeast Asia holds special importance, and the Secretary’s travel to Vietnam and the Philippines demonstrates the enduring U.S. commitment and his personal connections to the region. The Secretary’s visit to Vietnam will highlight the dramatic transformation in the bilateral relationship over the years and our growing partnership in many areas.

In Ho Chi Minh City, Secretary Kerry’s meetings will underscore the growth of our bilateral trade relationship and the empowering role of education. His visit to the Mekong Delta will emphasize how Americans and Vietnamese can work together on critical issues such as climate change and renewable energy.

In Hanoi, the Secretary will meet with senior Vietnamese leaders to advance the Comprehensive Partnership announced by President Obama and President Sang in July and to discuss a wide range of bilateral and regional issues.

Secretary Kerry will then travel to the Philippines, our longtime U.S. friend and ally. In Manila, the Secretary will meet with senior Philippine officials to discuss ways to build on our already-strong economic, security, and people-to-people relations. Then, the Secretary will visit the storm-hit city of Tacloban to witness first-hand the recovery efforts that are taking place there and discuss how the United States can continue to contribute to the relief and reconstruction work.

PRN: 2013/1544