The Washington Post

‘Air strike’ grounds Kerry


Secretary of State John F. Kerry, right, and Greek Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos exchange points of view during a group photo at the NATO Foreign ministers meeting in Brussels in Brussels on June 25. (Daniel Naupold/European Pressphoto Agency)

PARIS — Because of an “air strike” at the Brussels airport on Wednesday, Secretary of State John F. Kerry hopped a train to Paris after a NATO meeting.

Yes, air strike is what they call it. And no, they don’t mean a cruise missile, just a European labor dispute. (Loop heard it was the air traffic controllers.)

Kerry and a handful of top staffers dashed from NATO headquarters after a news conference to make the 6:13 pm train. The trip is just over an hour.

He made it in time for dinner.

The rest of the staff and reporters took a later train. Kerry’s government plane was coming later, after the airport reopened.

A senior State Department official who made the cut for the first train said Kerry “spent the time talking with staff about recent world events and the history of the countryside the train traveled through.”

The U.S. Embassy in Paris “can’t remember the last time a secretary of state has traveled in to Paris on the train.”

Anne Gearan is a national politics correspondent for The Washington Post.

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