Washington - 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 US State Department
Clinton has been sidelined for four weeks, since she was
taken ill on her return from a trip to Europe on 7 December, and briefly
hospitalised for a few days in New York last week.
But the State
Department's schedule for the week ahead released late on Sunday
revealed the top diplomat will meet on Monday morning with her assistant
secretaries in Washington. The talks will be closed to the press.
series of other meetings is planned through the week, including talks
at the White House on Tuesday with Defence 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 on
Thursday, when Clinton will host visiting Afghan President Hamid Karzai
at the State Department and welcome him for a working dinner.
has been a rare absence for the normally indefatigable Clinton, who in
her four years in office has travelled more than one million kilometres,
visited 112 countries and spent close to 400 days in a plane.
week, State Department spokesperson 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.
65-year-old diplomat was admitted to New York Presbyterian Hospital on
30 December after a scan revealed the clot in the space between her
skull and her brain.
Clinton left hospital late on 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."
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-travelled secretary of state ever, will undertake any
more foreign travel in her last weeks in the job.
doctors have advised her against any international trips for a while,
and Clinton is due to step down towards the end of the month.
Barack Obama has named veteran Massachusetts senator John Kerry as her
successor, and he is set to sail through his confirmation hearings due
later this month.
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham told CNN on
Sunday that he would back the Democratic Kerry to be the next secretary
of state, even though he was against Obama's choice of former Republican
senator Chuck Hagel to replace Panetta.
"Senator Kerry has a lot
of different views than I do. We're on the opposite ends of the
political spectrum, but I respect him. I think he's a thoughtful man. I
think he's in the mainstream," Graham said.
Clinton first fell
ill with a virulent stomach virus, which caused her to become dehydrated
and faint, leading to a concussion. The blood clot is believed to have
resulted from her fall.
But her illness was viewed with suspicion
by her fiercest rightwing critics, who claimed she had been faking it
to avoid testifying about the findings of an inquiry into the 11
September attack on a US mission in Libya.
She has said she still
plans to testify before US lawmakers about the results of the probe
into the Benghazi attack, but no date has yet been set.