Even as Kerry has led calls within the administration for tougher action against Syria, he has sought to work with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on bringing the warring parties in Syria together for negotiations on a political transition.
A senior State Department official said Kerry would be discussing those efforts during his meetings this weekend, although no date has been set yet and the parties have "some distance to go" before the talks could be held.
The United States hopes military action, however limited, could change Al-Assad's calculus and encourage him to negotiate.
Middle East peace process
Although Syria is sure to top the agenda during Kerry's meetings with foreign diplomats, he will also discuss his efforts to nurture the fledgling Middle East peace process.
After five months of shuttle diplomacy between Israelis and Palestinians, Kerry in July announced a resumption of direct talks between the two sides and tapped former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk as his Mideast peace envoy.
The parties have committed to try and reach a peace deal within nine months, although privately both sides have voiced skepticism that that is possible.
Kerry will meet in London on Sunday with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Another senior State Department official traveling with Kerry said that although the crises in both Syria and Egypt have distracted both the Israelis and Palestinians, they have also yielded important benefits.
Kerry was also expected to lobby EU foreign ministers to reconsider sanctions imposed this summer against Israel, which banned funding of some projects in the occupied West Bank over European opposition to continued settlement building.