Washington, Feb 2: Hillary Rodham Clinton formally resigned as the 67th United States Secretary of State on Friday. She thanked US President Barack Obama in a letter before leaving the State Department in her official capacity for the final time.
Clinton, 65, said it had been an honour to be a part of Obama's cabinet and reasserted her faith on the strength and staying power of the USA's global leadership and its capacity to be a force for good in the world.
The former First Lady who also ran for the presidency in 2008, smashed records for the number of countries visited by a US secretary of state. She even fell seriously ill in December and was treated in hospital. Clinton, who will be replaced by John Kerry, former Senator and presidential candidate of the 2004 election, leaves office as one of its most popular incumbent.
On the question of contesting presidential election in 2016, the Democrat politician did not give any definite answer. "I am making no decisions, but I would never give that advice to someone that I wouldn't take myself," she said in an interview.
Clinton's resignation became effective at 4 pm local time on Friday, when Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan swore in Kerry as the 68th incumbent. Kerry said he was honoured after being sworn in and said he would be reporting on Monday. The new Secretary of State, however, refused to comment on which area he would visit first.