Kerry to receive German Grand Cross of Merit

BERLIN: Outgoing US Secretary of State John Kerry is to receive the Grand Cross of Merit from the Federal Republic of Germany at a ceremony in Berlin on Monday night.
Kerry, who is in Germany as part of a farewell European tour, will be presented with the award by German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier in the Weltsaal of the Federal Foreign Office.
The Grand Cross is the second-highest of eight honours bestowed by the German government. The highest honour, the Grand Cross Special Class, is reserved for heads of state.
Kerry has long been a close ally of Steinmeier. Speaking on Sunday, Steinmeier said: “I can’t remember a time when German and American foreign policy have worked better or more closely together than during the office of John Kerry. He is not only a colleague, but also a friend.”
Kerry, 72, has been the US Secretary of State since 2013. Among the biggest successes of his tenure was reaching a nuclear accord with Iran.
Kerry spent much of his childhood in Europe and briefly lived in Berlin during the 1950s. — dpa