Code 55799
PublishDate: Monday, January 7, 2013 10:01

Hillary Clinton to be back at work

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton returned to work after a month-long absence caused by a series of health scares.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will return to work on Monday after a month-long absence caused by a series of health scares, including a blood clot in her head, the State Department said.

Clinton has been sidelined for four weeks, since she was taken ill on her return from a trip to Europe on December 7, and briefly hospitalised for a few days in New York last week.

But the State Department’s schedule for the week ahead released late Sunday revealed the top diplomat will meet at 9:15 am (local time) on Monday with her assistant secretaries in Washington. The talks will be closed to the press.

A series of other meetings is planned through the week, including talks at the White House on Tuesday with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and National Security Advisor Tom Donilon, which will also most likely not be open to TV cameras.

The high point of the week is set to be Thursday, when Clinton will host visiting Afghan President Hamid Karzai at the State Department and welcome him for a working dinner.

It has been a rare absence for the normally indefatigable Clinton, who in her four years in office has traveled almost a million miles, visited 112 countries and spent close to 400 days in a plane.

Last week, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Clinton was “raring” to get back to work after being treated in a New York hospital for a blood clot discovered in a vein behind her right ear.

The 65-year-old diplomat was admitted to New York Presbyterian Hospital on December 30 after a scan revealed the clot in the space between her skull and her brain.

Clinton left hospital late Wednesday after three days of treatment, and headed to her home in Chappaqua, New York, as doctors who prescribed her blood thinners said they expect her to make a full recovery.

“She’s looking forward to getting back to the office,” Nuland said on Thursday. “She is very much planning to do so next week.”Nuland said there had been an outpouring of support for Clinton from well-wishers around the world. “I think you could call the number of goodwill messages a tsunami,” she said.

It is unlikely that Clinton, the most-traveled secretary of state ever, will undertake any more foreign travel in her last weeks in the job.

Her doctors have advised her against any international trips for a while, and Clinton is due to step down towards the end of the month.

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