"On behalf of the American people, I am delighted to send my heartfelt wishes for good health, good fortune, happiness, and prosperity to all those around the world celebrating the arrival of the Lunar New Year this February 10.
This week, millions of people will make the journey – some across great distances – to reunite with their loved ones to mark the Lunar New Year. Here in the United States, many families will likewise gather to welcome the New Year. These public and private celebrations, held by multigenerational immigrant communities, highlight the diversity of American society and the deep and complex bonds that link the American people with peoples from around the world. President Obama and I look forward to strengthening our commitment to building ever-stronger relations with the people of the Asia-Pacific through initiatives that foster economic growth, improve regional security, and advance cooperative friendships among our peoples.
In this festive time, I would like to wish all great success in the coming year as we continue to work together to deepen partnerships and find solutions to the challenges we face.”
John Kerry being sworn in as Secretary of State. (Photo: State Dept.)
»Sen. John Kerry has been confirmed as the next secretary of state by the full U.S. Senate on a 94-3 vote.
President Obama is considering asking Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) to serve as his next defense secretary, part of an extensive rearrangement of his national security team that will include a permanent replacement for former CIA director David H. Petraeus.
Although Kerry is thought to covet the job of secretary of state, senior administration officials familiar with the transition planning said that nomination will almost certainly go to Susan E. Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
John O. Brennan, Obama’s chief counterterrorism adviser, is a leading contender for the CIA job if he wants it, officials said. If Brennan goes ahead with his plan to leave government, Michael J. Morell, the agency’s acting director, is the prohibitive favorite to take over permanently. Officials cautioned that the White House discussions are still in the early stages and that no decisions have been made.