Kerry says he's wedded to US-Asia pivot
US Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday he was as wedded to America's pivot towards Asia as his predecessor, even though he has not yet visited the region since coming to office.
- Published: 19/03/2013 at 12:49 AM
- Newspaper section: news
US Secretary of State John Kerry speaks to US Embassy staff in the Qatari capital Doha on March 6, 2013. Kerry said Monday he was as wedded to America's pivot towards Asia as his predecessor, even though he has not yet visited the region.
"Consider me equally as married to, if not more married" to the US rebalance to Asia, Kerry told reporters after meeting at the State Department with Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr.
He was dismissing criticism that since taking office on February 1 he has not been as focused on the region as former top US diplomat Hillary Clinton, who whisked off to Asia on her first overseas visit as secretary of state.
Kerry instead headed first to traditional allies Europe and the Gulf, in part perhaps to fend off some fears, especially among European nations, that America was turning away from them.
But Kerry denied that anyone was being shunned as America forges its foreign policy for the 21st century.
"The word 'pivot' implied a departure from somewhere else, and I don't think that our rebalance and our engagement has to be at the expense of anybody else. I think I can be with other people," Kerry said.
"We're not rebalancing at the expense of important relationships in Europe, Mideast and elsewhere, but we are rebalancing and we are going to continue the commitment," Kerry said.
He highlighted that he plans to visit next month China, South Korea and Japan, adding "we're already planning for the APEC meeting in Brunei, I intend to visit some other countries out there in that period of time."
Carr echoed Kerry's words: "I believe, Australia believes, that this secretary of state is as deeply committed to American engagement with East Asia as was his predecessor."
"We believe that John Kerry is no different from Hillary Clinton in the depth of his commitment to engagement with the region and we welcome that."
About the author
- Writer: AFP
- Position: News agency