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Originally published Thursday, January 31, 2013 at 9:33 AM

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Syria a top focus for Biden 3-country trip

The ongoing civil war in Syria will be a primary focus when Vice President Joe Biden embarks on a three-country swing through Europe.

Associated Press

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WASHINGTON —

The ongoing civil war in Syria will be a primary focus when Vice President Joe Biden embarks on a three-country swing through Europe.

Biden leaves Thursday for Germany, France and the United Kingdom. It's his first international trip since the Obama administration's second term started.

While in Munich, Biden will meet with Moaz al-Khatib, Syria's top opposition leader, and with Lakhdar Brahimi, the international peace envoy for Syria. Biden will also discuss the Syrian conflict with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Russia plays a key role in international efforts to resolve the conflict due to its longstanding ties to Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime.

Syria is also expected to come up when Biden meets with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Francois Hollande.

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