The U.S. President Barack Obama is likely to nominate Senator John Kerry as his next Secretary of State, according to the media reports.

The 69-year-old Mr. Kerry, currently the chairman of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations committee, has been a close confidant of Mr. Obama on his foreign policy issues.

Many a times Mr. Kerry has come to the rescue of the Obama Administration, especially when it comes to the U.S. ties with Pakistan, wherein he travelled several times to address the strained relationship including the one in the immediate aftermath of the killing of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

Author of the Kerry-Lugar-Berman bill that provided more than $7.5 billion in five years to Pakistan, the announcement for nomination of the Massachusetts Senator for the post of Secretary of State is expected to come as early as next week.

In 2004, he was nominated as the Democratic presidential candidate and lost to then President George W Bush.

If confirmed by the Senate, Mr. Kerry would replace Hillary Clinton, who has announced to leave the post by the end of the first term of the Obama Administration, which is January 20.

Ms. Clinton, suffering from a stomach infection for the past week, on Saturday fainted and sustained a concussion.

Her spokesperson said she would work from home till she recovers completely.

“While suffering from a stomach virus, Secretary Clinton became dehydrated and fainted, sustaining a concussion,” said her close aide Philippe Reines, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State. “She has been recovering at home and will continue to be monitored regularly by her doctors.”

Media reports said Mr. Obama made up his mind to nominate Mr. Kerry for his next Secretary of State after his first choice Susan Rice, the US Ambassador to the UN, withdrew herself from being considered for the post.

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