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May 27, 2017

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Technical problem delays Kerry's flight to Turkey

WASHINGTON--A technical mishap delayed U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's departure to Turkey on Saturday at the start of a globe-trotting tour focused on the crises in Syria and North Korea.

Kerry was to have left Washington at 7 a.m. (1100 GMT) but a problem with the plane's door forced Kerry, his wife Teresa Heinz Kerry, security guards, traveling press and staff to disembark for at least two hours.

A second plane, which like the first was painted blue and white and emblazoned with the words United States of America, was hurriedly stocked and prepared for takeoff.

Kerry plans to meet Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in Istanbul on Sunday to discuss the unrelenting conflict in Syria, and is then due to hold talks in Israel and the Palestinian territories.

The talks are billed as a follow-up to U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to the region last month, with expectations building that the administration may take another crack at reviving the moribund Middle East peace process.

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