10 Nov 2016

Kerry pledges constructive transfer of power

1:12 pm on 10 November 2016

US Secretary of State John Kerry has reiterated the Democratic leadership's promise for a smooth transition to the Trump administration.

His comments echo those of US President Barack Obama earlier today.

John Kerry: We will do everything in our power ... to work with the incoming administration"

John Kerry: We will do everything in our power ... to work with the incoming administration" Photo: AFP

"We will do everything in our power... to work with the incoming administration as fully and openly as possible so that the transfer of power will be as smooth as it possibly can," said Mr Kerry, who is on a brief stopover in Christchurch.

"I sent a note to all of our staff within the State Department this morning, reiterating what I have said to them personally before I left ... and that is we have a time-honoured tradition of a very peaceful and constructive transfer of power within administratons when that occurs in the United States."

Earlier this year Mr Kerry described Mr Trump's victory in the Republican primary race as an embarrassment to his country; today he offered his congratulations.

A former presidential candidate himself, he also paid tribute to Hillary Clinton.

"I know how hard she fought, I know what it takes out of her family, having been there and done that.

"I greatly appreciate her gracious comments today and I'm confident that she and the President, President Clinton, will continue to contribute in so many ways."

Mr Kerry will travel to Marrakech, Morocco, for the 22nd Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and deliver a speech highlighting the urgency of addressing climate change.

Donald Trump has said his administration would withdraw the US from the Paris deal agreed last year.

Mr Kerry said it was perhaps even more important that he attends the conference now.

Before then, Mr Kerry will meet scientists and researchers in Antarctica studying the impact of climate change - the first secretary of state to make that trip, and will see part of the recently established Ross Sea Region Marine Protected Area.

His flight to Antarctica was delayed by bad weather so a hastily organised meeting with Foreign Minister Murray McCully took place in Christchurch.

US Secretary of State John Kerry, at left, and New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully

John Kerry, left, met Foreign Minister Murray McCully, in Christchurch. Photo: AFP

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