U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry embarked on Sunday on his first official overseas voyage in a diplomatic mission to bring new ideas to capitals in Europe and West Asia on how to end nearly two years of brutal violence in Syria.

Mr. Kerry left Washington to start a gruelling nine-nation, 10-day trip that will take him to America’s traditional western European allies of Britain, Germany, France and Italy along with Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.

In addition to Syria, he will focus on conflicts in Mali and Afghanistan and Iran’s nuclear programme.

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