MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Saturday welcomed United States President Barack Obama’s nomination of Senator John Kerry as next secretary of state, saying it was confident that the “upward trajectory of Philippines-US relations” would be maintained under his term.
“The Department of Foreign Affairs welcomes the nomination of Senator John Kerry as secretary of state and looks forward to engaging with him in sustaining the upward trajectory of PH-US relations which flourished during the tenure of Secretary Hillary Clinton,” the DFA said in a statement.
“The department is confident that Senator Kerry’s wealth of experience, especially his chairmanship of the Senate committee on Foreign Relations, would serve him well in this new capacity. We wish him all the best as he begins a new chapter in his long career in public service,” the DFA added.
Obama made the announcement in the White House Friday (Saturday in Manila), saying that Kerry was one of Washington’s most respected voices on foreign policy.
Reports noted that Kerry expected to win confirmation easily in the Senate, where he has served since 1985, the last six years as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee.
Kerry would replace Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton, who has long planned to leave the administration early next year. Clinton is recovering from a concussion sustained in a fall.
As the nation’s top diplomat, Kerry will not only be tasked with executing the president’s foreign policy objectives, but will also have a hand in shaping them. The longtime lawmaker has been in lockstep with Obama on issues like nuclear non-proliferation, but ahead of the White House in advocating aggressive policies in Libya, Egypt and elsewhere that the president later embraced. With reports from AP