January 31st, 2013
12:59 PM ET
(CNN) – The issue of Syria will take center stage during Vice President Biden’s five day trip to Europe as tensions continue to escalate across the region, the White House said Thursday.
The highlight of Biden’s visit to four European cities is expected to come Saturday at a national security conference in Munich, Germany, where he will meet with UN Special Representative to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and leaders of the Syrian Opposition Council, the White House announced Thursday.
The meetings come in the wake of increased sectarian strife in Syria as well as news that Israeli fighter jets Thursday struck a Syrian convoy suspected of moving weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon.
Biden, who departs for Europe Thursday evening, will also make stops in Berlin, Paris, and London before returning to Washington on Wednesday. In each country, he is slated to sit down with top officials including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and UK Prime Minister David Cameron.
At all the meetings, White House officials said the latest developments in Syria would be a leading topic of conversation, as well as issues surrounding the Eurozone, the French military effort in Mali, and security issues surround Iran.
The vice president made a similar trip to Europe at the beginning of the Obama administration’s first term.