A diplomatic natural, John Kerry hits ground running
- Spot-fixing: Chandila was in touch with four sets of bookies, says Delhi Police
- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrives, to hold talks with PM on boundary, water issues
- IPL 2013: Delhi Daredevils crash to defeat, finish last
- Jaganmohan's wife attacks CBI, accuses it of working at Congress behest
- Blast accused death: UP govt seeks CBI probe, FIR against 42 persons
With the smile of a seasoned politician, a flair for languages and a vast repertoire of personal anecdotes, Secretary of State John Kerry schmoozed and cajoled his way through Europe and the Middle East on his first trip abroad as America's top envoy. But as far as diplomatic triumphs go, Dennis Rodman stole the show.
Kerry plunged into his first official overseas voyage by touring the capitals of America's traditional Western European allies, charming his hosts in Britain, France, Germany and Italy with his patrician bearing, fluent French, passable German and smattering of Italian.
He greeted officials with the comfortable blue-blooded bonhomie of a well-heeled man at ease in the grand salons of London, Paris, Berlin and Rome, yet one still deeply affected by his combat experience in Vietnam, something he made clear to German youth in a town hall meeting on the second stop of the trip.
Leaving Europe behind, Kerry immersed himself in the byzantine politics of a volatile Mideast that is struggling with the chaotic aftermath of the Arab Spring, an area in which the Obama administration must toe a delicate line between advocacy and unwanted interference.
In Rome and Cairo, he doled out modest aid packages to the Syrian opposition and to Egypt's foundering Islamist government with an appeal for that country's bickering politicians to save their nation from economic ruin at the same time Congress and the Obama administration were bickering about cuts to the United States' budget. In Ankara and Riyadh, he rebuked the Turks over anti-Israel rhetoric and warned Iran about its nuclear program.
The silver-maned, slightly hard-of-hearing, 69-year-old Kerry also announced a significant shift in policy toward the Free Syrian Army, providing nonlethal assistance directly to the armed rebels fighting to oust President Bashar Assad.
However, the biggest diplomatic coup during Kerry's trip sprung from his antithesis: a flamboyant, retired NBA star with multiple body piercings who became the first American to have ever met North Korea's reclusive young leader, Kim Jong-Un.
- Quake-hit and shaken, Bhaderwah spends nights in the open
- UP blast accused dies on way to jail, govt wanted to drop case against him
- Former civil aviation secy changes mind, seeks airport security exemption as EC
- BCCI suspects Gujarat players in other teams were also approached
- Police on money trail, Sreesanth in fresh trouble
- Chhattisgarh 'encounter' leaves 8 villagers dead, no Maoist link yet