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Obama nominates John Kerry as secretary of state

December 22, 2012 03:44 IST

United States President Barack Obama on Friday nominated Senator John Kerry as his next Secretary of State, noting his vast foreign policy experience makes him the 'perfect choice' to guide the American diplomacy.

"Today I'm looking ahead to my second term, and I am very proud to announce my choice for America's next secretary of state: John Kerry," Obama said making a personal  announcement at the White House, with Kerry standing by his side along with Vice President Joe Biden.

Sixty-nine-year-old Kerry, currently the chairman of the powerful senate foreign relations committee, has been a close confidant of Obama on foreign policy issues. He has decades of foreign policy experience, which has very often been praised by the opponents, the Republicans.

"This makes him a perfect choice to guide American diplomacy in the years ahead," Obama said. If confirmed by the Senate, he would replace Hillary Clinton as the Secretary of State, who is currently recovering from a severe stomach infection.

Kerry, the senior senator from Massachusetts and the Democratic Party's 2004 presidential nominee, is noted for the experience, gravitas and relationship-building skills that could help him succeed as the United States' top diplomat.

He is expected to easily sail through the senate confirmation process because of his long serving in the Senate and his good relationship with Republican senators. This was Obama's first nomination to his national security term for his second term.

Obama is scheduled to take the oath of his second term on January 21, 2013.

Picture: US President Barack Obama and Senator John Kerry shake hands after the president announced Kerry's nomination as Secretary of State to succeed Hillary Clinton, at the White House in Washington

Photographer: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Lalit K Jha in Washington