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Clinton praises Kerry, but sad to be leaving


Jan 31, 2013 07:10:50 AM

Clinton praises Kerry, but sad to be leaving US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she was sad to be stepping down but assured staffers that John Kerry would do a great job replacing her as the top US diplomat.

"I know I'm leaving the department in excellent hands," Clinton said, after being greeted with cheers and a standing ovation at a final townhall-style address to employees at the State Department.

"He brings judgment, experience, vision and a deep understanding... to what our diplomacy requires," she said of Kerry, who was confirmed on Tuesday by Senate as the next secretary of state to serve in the administration of President Barack Obama.

But Clinton said she was approaching her final days in the State Department with "a heavy heart" even though she was "looking forward to the next chapter. It's like one of those books you buy with blank pages."

"I am very sad to leave all of you, and to leave behind the institution here where I have been so proud to serve on behalf of the American people.

"It will be very hard over the next few days to say good-bye to the terrific men and women at State and USAID, because I will truly miss you. I will miss the incredible sense of commitment to the work we do."

Clinton will finally walk out of the door of the State Department on Friday after four years on the job. She has traveled almost a million miles and visited 112 countries.




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