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Surgeon: Kerry Surgery Successful, No Impact on Duties Seen

  • Reuters

FILE - Secretary of State John Kerry, May 20, 2015.

FILE - Secretary of State John Kerry, May 20, 2015.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday underwent successful surgery to repair a fracture in his right leg and his recovery is not expected to interfere with his official duties, his surgeon said.

Kerry, 71, broke his right femur on Sunday while cycling a portion of the Tour de France route in the Haute Savoie region of France, raising questions about how deeply he may be involved in Iran nuclear talks ahead of a self-imposed June 30 deadline.

Dennis Burke, an orthopedic surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital where the surgery took place, said the secretary of state was conscious throughout the four-hour operation, which took place under regional anesthetic.

"The procedure was uncomplicated, the fracture was fully repaired, and we plan to get him up walking on Wednesday," Burke said. "I anticipate a short hospitalization, a full and complete recovery, and a return to normal function."

"I do not anticipate that this will interfere with his duties as secretary of state," he added.

A U.S. military aircraft on Monday brought Kerry to Boston from Geneva, where he had had negotiations on Saturday with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif

One of the central questions after Kerry's fall was whether it would affect negotiations between Iran and six major powers seeking to strike an agreement to curb Iran's nuclear program in exchange for relief from economic sanctions.

Those talks, in which Kerry has been immersed, are due to conclude by June 30, though previous such deadlines have slipped and senior Western and Iranian officials have suggested that could happen again.

The State Department on Monday said Kerry was committed to meeting the deadline and that he expected to be back in the negotiating room by the end of the month.

The United States and some of its allies suspect that Iran is using its civilian nuclear program as a cover to develop atomic weapons. Iran denies this, saying its program is for peaceful purposes.

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