Obama made excellent choice by nominating Kerry: Hillary



Washington: Observing that time and again John Kerry "has proven his mettle", US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Friday said that President Barack Obama has made an excellent choice by nominating the Massachusetts Senator as her successor.

"Today, I spoke to Senator John Kerry and congratulated him on his nomination to be the next Secretary of State. I also spoke with President Obama and told him that he has made an excellent choice. I hope Senator Kerry will be confirmed quickly," Clinton said in a statement soon after Obama made the announcement at the White House.

Clinton, who is recovering from stomach infection, was not present at the time of announcement. "He will bring decades of service to our country and deep experience in international affairs," he said.

"As a leader in the Senate, he understands how to build coalitions and craft compromises. As a statesman respected around the world, he will be able to sustain and extend America?s global leadership," she added.

Over the past four years, now as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Kerry has been her trusted partner on major foreign policy challenges facing the nation, she said.

"He helped us end the war in Iraq and advance a responsible transition in Afghanistan, co-authored key assistance legislation for Pakistan, won ratification of the New START Treaty with Russia, led the way on climate change, and helped us navigate a fast-changing Middle East," she said.

Clinton said both she and Obama have often asked Kerry to undertake delicate diplomatic missions and to deliver difficult messages.

"He has forged strong relationships with leaders around the world. As I have learned, being able to talk candidly as someone who has won elections and also lost them is an enormous asset when engaging with emerging or fragile democracies," she said.

"Through it all, Senator Kerry has fought for our nation’s diplomats and development experts and for investing in their mission and America’s global leadership. And now, he is working closely with me and my team to learn the lessons of the tragedy in Benghazi, further protect our people and posts, and implement every single one of the Accountability Review Board’s recommendations," said the Secretary of State.

"We need a leader with John Kerry's experience and talent at the helm of the State Department and USAID in the years ahead. There is much more to do on all of these crucial challenges, from Afghanistan to nonproliferation to climate change, and many others," she said.

"We also have to consolidate America's expanded engagement in the Asia-Pacific, continue championing the rights and opportunities of women, pursue a new approach to development centered on dignity and self-sufficiency, keep putting economics at the center of our foreign policy, and practice the kind of smart power that harnesses innovation and partnerships with governments and with people to solve problems and seize opportunities," Clinton said.

PTI