Washington: Outgoing US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was today hailed by lawmakers as the diplomat who changed the face of America abroad by integrating diplomacy in the national security agenda.
As she attended her last Congressional hearing on the Benghazi attack, members of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee said they would miss her as she leaves the position next month.
"You have changed the face of America abroad, and extended the hospitable reach of our nation to ordinary citizens in addition to world leaders," Senator Robert Menendez, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said at her last appearance at the Capitol Hill in her capacity.
"During your tenure, you`ve steered us through an economic crisis in Europe, changing relations with Asia, regime change in the Arab world, a momentous transition in Libya, and a trend towards global strength based on economics, rather than arms," he said.
"I personally appreciate the fact that you`ve used your office to aggressively implement sanctions against Iran. In addition to these priorities, and nearly every trip of which you have -- I think the most traveled secretary in history -- also supported, met with, and provided a voice for those individuals that don`t live in the limelight; women, children, the LGBT community and religious minorities," he said.
"I know you will not go gently from the world stage, and I look forward to working closely with you in the future," Menendez said.
Ranking Republican Member Senator Bob Corker praised Clinton for her hard work and diligence while Senator Barbara Boxer said Clinton has represented the country with tremendous strength and poise.
"You`ve won us friends, but you`ve always spoken out forcefully where required... I want to thank you for your advocacy on behalf of women around the globe. You will be sorely missed, but I for one hope not for too long," she said.
Senator Ben Cardin congratulated Clinton for her extraordinary service in the last four years as the Secretary of State.
"I believe the world is safer today, because America is better understood around the world. And you have been instrumental in integrating diplomacy in our national security agenda, and I thank you for that, because I do think it has paid off in heavy dividends for the American people," he said.