Hillary Clinton is ill and has been forced to cancel her trip to Morocco this week to meet about the future of Syria’s opposition.
The State Department announced Clinton’s illness and the canceled trip on Monday, reports Yahoo! News. Instead of her attending, Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns will travel in her place.
Phillipe Reines, the State Department’s spokesman, stated:
“Since she’s still under the weather, we’ll be staying put this week instead of heading to North Africa and the Middle East as originally planned. In her place, Deputy Secretary Burns will travel to Marrakech for the Friends of the Syrian People meeting.”
Reines added that the Department will inform the public when Hillary Clinton is over her illness and can resume a public schedule. The secretary of state was due to meet other foreign ministers from allied nations in Morocco where they will discuss the 20-month old Syrian crisis.
The Telegraph notes that the Morocco meeting will likely focus on new moves to strengthen and legitimize the recently formed Syrian opposition coalition. Clinton is expected to announce formal US recognition of the group as “the legitimate representative” of the Syrian people soon.
The endorsement by Clinton would likely help pave the way for the group to become a government-in-waiting and also allow it to receive more US humanitarian aid for the massive humanitarian crisis spilling into neighboring countries.
The Secretary of State has kept a busy schedule in what is expected to be her final weeks as the US Secretary of State. She returned to the US late on Friday from a trip to Europe where she met with NATO foreign ministers in Brussels. After she is recovered from her illness, Hillary Clinton is expected to travel to Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates.