Kerry will talk to the Arabs "about things where they may be helpful, and again, also building support within the international community for a response from the international community," one of the officials said.
In all of the meetings Kerry was expected to work to "coordinate a political response" on Syria, but was not expected to go into the details about particular roles countries could play as part of any military action, an official said.
Kerry will also meet with UK Foreign Secretary William Hague in London. Britain's Parliament has ruled out getting militarily involved in Syria, but Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged to continue to push for a tough response against the Assad regime.
International opinion divided
Kerry's efforts with European allies paralleled those of his boss, Obama, who tried to rally members of the G20 in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Obama met with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg summit Friday. But despite both saying the talks were constructive, there was no sign of consensus.
International opinion remains divided on what should be done after the Syrian government allegedly used chemical weapons against its own people last month.
A statement issued Friday by a bare majority of the G-20 -- 11 of its 20 members -- said that "the evidence clearly points to the Syrian government being responsible for the attack, which is part of a pattern of chemical weapons use by the regime."
"Those who perpetrated these crimes must be held accountable," it said.
The statement called for a "strong international response" and "supports efforts undertaken by the United States and other countries to reinforce the prohibition on the use of chemical weapons." It did not expressly endorse military action, although U.S. officials said the nations who signed it interpreted the statement as tacit support for strikes.
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle also signed on to the statement Saturday.
Obama has stressed he is considering a limited and targeted mission to respond to the use of chemical weapons and deter the Assad regime from using them again, a point stressed in more than eight hours of testimony on Capitol Hill this week by Kerry, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Obama described his exchange with Putin in St. Petersburg as "candid" -- but acknowledged that the Russian president was unlikely to support his call for military action against Syria.
Putin gave reporters a similar account, adding, "He doesn't agree with me, I don't agree with him, but we listened to each other."
Both leaders said they could work together to seek a political solution to the Syrian crisis.
The two men hold opposing views over whether military action should be taken against the Syrian government.
Obama said the world must act to uphold an international ban on chemical weapons use, while Putin repeated the Syrian government's accusation that "militants" used chemical weapons in a bid to get aid and support from "those countries who support them."
He told reporters that Moscow will continue to provide Syria with arms and humanitarian aid. Russia, along with China, has so far opposed military intervention in Syria at the U.N. Security Council.
Obama's domestic battle
Obama will now seek to rally congressional support for possible U.S. military action against Syria, with a vote expected after lawmakers reconvene from recess on Monday.
The president will give interviews with CNN, PBS, Fox, NBC, ABC and CBS on Monday as he presses his case, a White House official said; the CNN interview will air at 6 p.m. The next day, he'll address the American people on this crisis.
Obama said Friday that he had expected skepticism from the public and from lawmakers, and that he had anticipated it would be "a heavy lift" to win approval for military action from Congress.
In Paris, Kerry spoke of Americans' "Iraq hangover" and said, "We all got burned by that, and we're still paying the price."
The United States, however, can't allow their tentativeness about Iraq strip away the nation's responsibility "to confront real threats today," he said.