Kerry makes stopover at Shannon

US secretary of state John Kerry boards his aircraft to return earlier today at the airport in Doha. Photograph: Jacquelyn Martin/Reuters

US secretary of state John Kerry boards his aircraft to return earlier today at the airport in Doha. Photograph: Jacquelyn Martin/Reuters

Wed, Mar 6, 2013, 00:00

US secretary of state John Kerry made an unannounced stopover at Shannon Airport today while returning from his first official trip overseas.

Mr Kerry?s aircraft arrived at Shannon at around 3pm for a scheduled but unpublicised stop. Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore met Mr Kerry who had been visiting Europe and the Middle East on his first trip abroad as the US's top envoy.

Mr Kerry spent almost two hours in Shannon while his aircraft was refueled under the watchful eye of US secret service personnel and gardai.

Before leaving, Mr Kerry posed for a photograph with Mr Gilmore in front of a painting depicting former US President John F Kennedy?s departure from Shannon after his 1963 visit here.

In January, the US senate approved Mr Kerry as the new secretary of state to succeed Hillary Clinton.

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