LILONGWE (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary State of State Hillary Clinton will travel to Istanbul next week to hold talks with the Turkish government on the crisis in Syria, a State Department spokeswoman said on Sunday.
“Secretary Clinton goes to Istanbul for bilateral consultations with the Turkish government on Syria as well as to cover other timely issues,” spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in a statement sent to reporters during a visit by Clinton to the southern African nation of Malawi.
Clinton’s planned talks in Istanbul on August 11 will form part of renewed international efforts to tackle the escalating crisis in Syria, where forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad are fighting to put down a rebel uprising.
Prospects over the possibility of a negotiated solution have dimmed since United Nations peace envoy Kofi Annan resigned this week complaining of paralysis in the U.N. Security Council over the Syria peace efforts.
Nuland also announced that Clinton, whose current Africa tour will take her to South Africa later on Sunday, would also be visiting Nigeria, Ghana and Benin next week on her way to the Istanbul talks.
In Ghana, she was expected to attend the funeral of President John Atta Mills, who died suddenly last month after an illness.
Reporting by Andy Quinn; editing by Pascal Fletcher