Kerry cuts short Europe trip af­ter break­ing leg

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL - BY NI­CO­LAS RE­VISE

U.S. Sec­re­tary of State John Kerry broke his leg in a cy­cling ac­ci­dent in France on Sun­day and will fly back to the United States for treat­ment, cut­ting short a Euro­pean trip.

Kerry, 71, a keen cy­clist, was hos­pi­tal­ized in the Swiss city of Geneva af­ter the ac­ci­dent across the bor­der in the French Alps, the State Depart­ment said.

The top U.S. diplo­mat, who had been hold­ing talks in Switzer­land on the Iran nu­clear cri­sis, broke his right fe­mur in the ac­ci­dent in Scionzier near Cha­monix.

A source in the French lo­cal gov­ern­ment of­fice said Kerry had wanted to cy­cle one of the stages of the Tour de France, the chal­leng- ing Col de la Colom­biere moun­tain pass.

He has had to cancel both a trip to Spain and his at­ten­dance at a Paris meet­ing on the Syria con­flict and the Is­lamic State group, spokesman John Kirby said.

How­ever Kirby said he planned on Tues­day to “re­motely” join the Paris talks, which are aimed at re­view­ing the in­ter­na­tional coali­tion’s strat­egy against the IS group.

“The sec­re­tary is sta­ble and never lost con­scious­ness, his in­jury is not life-threat­en­ing, and he is ex­pected to make a full re­cov­ery,” he said in a state­ment.

“Given the in­jury is near the site of his prior hip surgery, he will re­turn to Bos­ton to­day to seek treat- ment at Mas­sachusetts Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal with his doc­tor who did the prior surgery.”

The top U.S. diplo­mat was flown by he­li­copter to the Geneva Uni­ver­sity Hos­pi­tal af­ter the ac­ci­dent which oc­curred around 9:40 a.m. (0740 GMT).

“Paramedics and a physi­cian were on the scene with the sec­re­tary’s mo­tor­cade at the time of the ac­ci­dent,” Kirby said.

An­other State Depart­ment of­fi­cial, speak­ing on con­di­tion of anonymity, said Kerry “fell af­ter hit­ting a curve.”

Kerry held talks Satur­day in Geneva with his Ira­nian coun­ter­part Mo­ham­mad Javad Zarif as part of in­ter­na­tional ef­forts to se­cure a land­mark nu­clear deal ahead of a June 30 dead­line.

The talks did not go into a sec­ond day as planned af­ter Tehran re­jected a key West­ern de­mand for site in­spec­tions.

Of­ten on His Bike

There are height­ened diplo­matic moves to try to end a 12-year in­ter­na­tional stand­off and put a nu­clear bomb be­yond Iran’s reach.

The lanky Kerry has be­come a rec­og­niz­able fig­ure as a regular glo­be­trot­ter since tak­ing of­fice as Sec­re­tary of State in Fe­bru­ary 2013.

Dur­ing breaks from ne­go­ti­a­tions, he has of­ten headed out of his ho­tel to ride his bike — which he usu­ally brings along on his for­eign mis­sions — ac­com­pa­nied by a posse of se­cu­rity guards.

Kerry had been sched­uled leave late Sun­day af­ter­noon Madrid.

Spain and the United States were to for­mal­ize an agree­ment un­der which Spain will host a per­ma­nent force of 2,200 U.S. Marines for de­ploy­ment on mis­sions to Africa.

“The sec­re­tary very much re­grets not be­ing able to visit Spain to meet with one of our close al­lies for dis­cus­sions on a range of is­sues, as well as be­ing un­able to at­tend the counter-ISIL coali­tion min­is­te­rial meet­ing on Tues­day in Paris in per­son,” Kirby said, us­ing an al­ter­na­tive acro­nym for IS.

“The sec­re­tary plans to par­tic­i­pate in the counter-ISIL coali­tion meet­ing re­motely.” to for

AP

In this March 16, file pic­ture U.S. Sec­re­tary of State John Kerry, rides a bike af­ter a bi­lat­eral meet­ing with the Ira­nian For­eign Min­is­ter in Lau­sanne, Switzer­land. Kerry is in sta­ble con­di­tion in a Swiss hos­pi­tal af­ter suf­fer­ing a leg in­jury in a bike crash out­side Geneva, Switzer­land on Sun­day, May 31.

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