John Kerry returns to Europe next week

US Secretary of State John Kerry (above), just back from a European tour centered on nuclear negotiations with Iran, will recross the Atlantic next week for a Nato meeting, the State Department said on Wednesday. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
US Secretary of State John Kerry (above), just back from a European tour centered on nuclear negotiations with Iran, will recross the Atlantic next week for a Nato meeting, the State Department said on Wednesday. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP) - US Secretary of State John Kerry, just back from a European tour centered on nuclear negotiations with Iran, will recross the Atlantic next week for a Nato meeting, the State Department said on Wednesday.

The Dec 2-5 trip will take Kerry to Brussels, Basel and then London, a statement said.

He will attend a meeting of Nato foreign ministers in Brussels Dec 2, followed a day later by a ministerial meeting of the US-led coalition against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria militant group.

He will also meet in Brussels with the European Union's new chief diplomat, Federica Mogherini, at a meeting of a US-EU energy council, the State Department said.

In Basel, Switzerland, Kerry will take part in a ministerial meeting of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), in charge of monitoring a cease-fire between the Ukrainian army and separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine.

He will also meet with Swiss President Didier Burkhalter to discuss the OSCE's role in the Ukraine crisis, State Department spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki said.

The secretary then goes to London Dec 4 for a conference on Afghanistan, meeting on the sidelines with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and chief executive Abdullah Abdullah, as well as with Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Kerry returned to Washington early Tuesday from Vienna where negotiations on Iran's nuclear programme were extended until July 1 after diplomats failed to meet a deadline for reaching a comprehensive agreement.