Stomach virus forces Hillary Clinton to cancel on Syrian summit

December 11, 2012

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has canceled a trip abroad. (Amr Nabil/AP)

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will not attend Wednesday's Friends of the Syrian People meeting in Morocco due to an ongoing stomach virus, Foreign Policy reports.

Clinton was expected to recognize the opposition’s new leadership council, the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people.

The United States will join a growing lineup of countries throwing their support behind the opposition group. But the administration is expected to stop short of naming the group as the legitimate ruler of Syria, which would theoretically give the group standing at the United Nations or elsewhere to ask for international military intervention.

Clinton initially delayed the trip from Monday to Tuesday because of her illness. Spokesman Phillippe Reines told Foreign Policy that "she's still under the weather" and Deputy Secretary Bill Burns will travel to Marrakech in her stead. He will also take on her planned stops in Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates.

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