Kerry: Long Political Crisis Will Weaken US

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Secretary of State John Kerry warned Saturday the "reckless" political standoff paralysing Washington could weaken the United States on the world stage if it did not end soon.

Kerry: Long Political Crisis Will Weaken US

The country's top diplomat said the bitter struggle between Republicans and Democrats that has led to a partial government shutdown was sending a message to the world that the United States could not "get its act together"

Kerry insisted the United States had not yet been diminished in the eyes of leaders around the world, and that a solution would be found soon, but warned of consequences if the standoff continued, AFP reported.

"If it were prolonged, or repeated, people would begin to question the willingness of the United States to stay the course and its ability to," Kerry told reporters at an Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation forum on the Indonesian island of Bali.

US President Barack Obama had been due to travel to Bali for an APEC leaders' summit starting Monday.

But he had to cancel his Asian trip, which would have also taken him to Brunei, Malaysia and the Philippines, to deal with the first government shutdown in 17 years.

Kerry is filling in for Obama on the Asian tour, and he made it clear that he believed Republicans blocking government spending in Congress were playing a dangerous game.

"I think it is reckless, personally, to even provide those moments where you have these risks that are exposed," Kerry said, referring to areas of spending on national security that have been suspended because of the shutdown.

Nevertheless, Kerry emphasised that the United States would emerge from the crisis relatively unscathed, and that he was convinced the standoff would not be long term.


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