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Kerry pledges seamless power transfer to Trump
[WELLINGTON] US Secretary of State John Kerry congratulated President-elect Donald Trump Thursday and said he aimed to hand over power "without missing a beat" on important foreign policy issues.
Mr Kerry said the Republican had emerged victorious from a "momentous" election.
"I want to offer my congratulations to President-elect Donald Trump and wish him well," he told reporters in the New Zealand city of Christchurch, where he was due to travel to a base in Antarctica.
Mr Kerry, who has worked diligently on issues such as climate change for the Obama administration, said the policy challenges facing America had not altered because of the election.
He said that meant it was important for the new administration to begin on the right footing when it takes over next year.
"I have instructed our team, to work with the incoming administration as fully and openly as possible," he said.
"To be as helpful as possible, so that the transfer of power will be as smooth as it possibly can without missing a beat on the important issues before us."
Mr Kerry said the United States had a proud tradition of peaceful transfer of power and he was confident the latest handover would be "an elegant and graceful process which meets the highest standards of democracy".
He added that the shock election of Mr Trump, a climate change denier, would not silence him when he travels to Morocco next week for UN talks on the issue.
"I'll have a lot more to say about the subject of Antarctica and climate change when I get to Marrakesh," he said, while paying tribute to defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton, a close ally who preceded him as secretary of state.
"I know how hard she fought," he said.
"I know what it takes out of a family, having been there and done that... I am confident that she and (former president Bill) Clinton and her family, will continue to contribute in so many ways."