Clinton cancels Morocco trip due to illness

By Agence France-Presse
Tuesday, December 11, 2012 7:00 EDT
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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton via AFP.
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US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has canceled a planned trip to Morocco due to a stomach virus, her office said.

“Since she’s still under the weather, we’ll be staying put this week instead of heading to North Africa and the Middle East as originally planned,” said Philippe Reines, a Clinton aide.

Reines said that Deputy Secretary of State William Burns would travel in her place to Marrakesh for a meeting of the Friends of the Syrian People.

At the talks, the United States may announce plans to recognize the new Syrian National Coalition, as the group struggles to present itself as a legitimate alternative to President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

On Sunday, Clinton’s office had announced that she was pushing back her departure for Morocco from Monday to Tuesday due to the illness.

The exact state of Clinton’s health was unclear, but Reines said her office would inform the public when she recovers and resumes her public events.

Clinton, 65, had also been set to travel to Tunisia and Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates.

Clinton, the most well-traveled secretary of state in history, had just returned from a week-long trip to Europe on Friday. She went to Australia, southeast Asia and the Balkans last month.

Clinton plans to step down at the start of President Obama’s second term in January.

The wife of former president Bill Clinton has seen her popularity soar since becoming the nation’s top diplomat, leading to speculation she may run for president in 2016, eight years after losing to Obama in a hard-fought primary.

Clinton has declined to discuss her future plans, saying only that she looks forward to taking some time off after an extremely busy four years.

[Image via Agence France-Presse]

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
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