Time for US to be more engaged: Kerry



Washington: The US cannot afford to retrench or retreat itself because of budgetary cuts, Secretary of State John Kerry said Saturday.

"This challenge deserves more focus and more attention, not less. This is not a time for the United States of America to retrench and to retreat. This is a time to be more engaged," Kerry said in his address to the employee of the USAID - the foreign aid wing of the US Government, which is headed by Indian American Raj Shah.

"If you don't help people with rule of law, if you don't help them and mentor them and introduce people to certain opportunities through the linkage of health to societal stability, and ultimately to economic opportunity, America is going to fall behind and lose the leadership role that we have in the world today.

"And we're going to lose jobs for our fellow Americans," Kerry said. "This is not just about over there; this is about here.

This is about how you build the societies that offer us the market opportunities so that we can have the trade and investment and the options of creating the jobs here at home and the goods that Americans can buy and so forth," he said in his remarks.

In his speech, Kerry recollected his trip to Pakistan after the earthquake where USAID workers were involved in relief operations.

PTI