Friday 27 April 2018

Kerry breaks leg in bicycle crash

John Kerry plans to return to the United States after breaking his leg in a bike crash (AP)
John Kerry plans to return to the United States after breaking his leg in a bike crash (AP)

US secretary of state John Kerry scrapped the rest of an overseas trip after breaking his leg in a bicycle crash.

The 71-year-old will miss an international conference on combating the Islamic State group, and plans to return to the United States today.

Mr Kerry fractured his right femur after crashing his bike near Scionzier, France, about 25 miles from the Swiss border.

Paramedics and a physician were on the scene with his motorcade at the time and provided him with immediate attention.

They quickly decided to call in a helicopter to transport him to Geneva's main medical centre, HUG, where X-rays confirmed the extent of his injury.

He was staying overnight in a Swiss hospital as a precaution, state department spokesman John Kirby said, before flying to Boston for further treatment at Massachusetts General Hospital.

"The secretary continues to be in great spirits and active," Mr Kirby said. "He has done a range of phone calls including with the president."

The Dauphine Libere, a local newspaper, said Mr Kerry fell near the beginning of his ride to the famed mountain pass called the Col de la Colombiere, which has been a route for the Tour de France more than a dozen times.

Mr Kerry decided to seek treatment in Boston because the fracture is near the site of his earlier hip surgery. He will be attended to by the same doctor who performed that operation.

His cycle rides have become a regular occurrence on his trips, including d uring discussions in late March and early April between world powers and Iran in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Mr Kerry had been in Geneva for six hours of meetings with Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Saturday as the sides work to seal a comprehensive accord by June 30.

The prospect of a lengthy rehabilitation could hamper the nuclear talks. Even if Mr Kerry does not need surgery, it was not immediately known when he could fly again after returning to the US.

Mr Kerry has been the lead negotiator in several marathon sessions with Iran going back to 2013. The injury could affect other potential missions, such as one to the Cuban capital to raise the flag at a restored US Embassy.

On his current trip, Mr Kerry was yesterday scheduled to travel to Madrid for meetings with Spain's king and prime minister, before spending two days in Paris for an international gathering to combat IS.

He will participate in the Paris conference remotely, while deputy secretary of state Tony Blinken will replace him.

Press Association

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