U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.), chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on African Affairs, issued the following statement on the nomination of Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) as secretary of state:
"John Kerry has been a thoughtful and passionate leader on U.S. foreign policy for decades, and his skills and experience make him highly qualified to serve as our next secretary of state. His deep policy knowledge, strong relationships around the world and widely respected diplomatic skills will continue to build on Secretary Clinton's remarkable achievements over the last four years and further enhance America's position in the world.
"Senator Kerry has demonstrated his leadership on the global stage. When CIA contractor Ray Davis was jailed in Pakistan in 2011, the President turned to John Kerry to negotiate a resolution to the crisis. I was in Pakistan just a few days before Chairman Kerry's arrival, and U.S. officials on the ground had great confidence he would find a solution -- which he did. Their faith in John Kerry was well placed, and this is just one example of the skills that will make him an exceptional secretary of state.
"It has been my honor to serve with Chairman Kerry on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and I remain humbled by and grateful for his trust in appointing me to chair the Subcommittee on African Affairs. His wisdom and counsel have been invaluable and his passion for human rights and democracy in Africa and around the world is inspirational.
"John Kerry is one of the few leaders ready to step into the enormous shoes Hillary Clinton has left to fill. Secretary Clinton has served our country remarkably as a tough negotiator, a fearless champion for human rights and a courageous leader for equality and justice around the world. It was a pleasure and a privilege to travel with her to Liberia for the inauguration of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, where we discussed our shared commitment to America's essential role as a global leader. Secretary Clinton's tireless work and record of service will shape her extraordinary legacy."