John Kerry sworn in as Secretary of State
From Lalit K Jha
Washington, Feb 2 (PTI) Veteran Senator John Kerry, who favours strong ties with India, was today sworn in as the US Secretary of State, replacing Hillary Clinton as America''s top diplomat.
Kerry, 69, was sworn in at a private ceremony, taking an oath administered by US Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan.
"I was very honoured to be sworn in and very anxious to get to work," Kerry told media, with his wife Teresa Heinz Kerry by his side.
Besides his wife, he was joined by daughter Vanessa, brother Cameron, and his Senate staff.
Kerry is a strong advocate of peace talks between India and Pakistan as he firmly believes that there are few relationships that will be vital in the 21st century for Washington''s ties with New Delhi.
Kerry has an illustrious career spanning over three decades of public life. For the last four years he was Chairman of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
A close confidant of Obama, Kerry in the last four years several times came to the rescue of Obama Administration whenever US relationship with Pakistan reached low ebb.
He has a personal relationship with top Pakistani leadership.
Kerry''s top priority during his tenure is going to be the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan -- in which Pakistan has a crucial role to play. He is also expected to make his first trip to India in the first six months of him occupying the post of top American diplomat.
While it is too early to zero in on the precise dates, Kerry would be leading a high-powered US delegation to India sometime in the middle of this year for next round of India-US Strategic Dialogue; which was started by his predecessor Clinton and former External Affairs Minister S M Krishna in 2010 in Washington. .