John Kerry, the US secretary of state, has embarked on his first official trip overseas.
Kerry has started a gruelling nine-nation, 10-day trip that will take him to Europe and the Middle East.
He will hold talks with America's traditional western European allies of Britain, Germany, France and Italy. He will also meet 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.
Al Jazeera's Rosiland Jordan reports from Washington.