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Hillary Clinton formally resigns as US Secretary of State

Hillary Clinton has formally resigned as the US Secretary of State saying she was "honoured to serve" in President Barack Obama's administration.

In a letter sent to the President shortly before she left the State Department for the last time, she said: "I am more convinced than ever in the strength and staying power of America's global leadership and our capacity to be a force for good in the world."

Clinton will be replaced by former Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry who will take the oath of office in a private ceremony today.

Hague pictured with Clinton at farewell dinner

"Warm celebration of US-UK alliance at dinner for Hillary Clinton," tweeted William Hague.

William Hague published a picture which showed him standing alongside Hillary Clinton as the US Secretary of State prepares to bow out of her role.

"Warm celebration of US-UK alliance at dinner for Hillary Clinton, and a fond farewell to a Great Secretary of State," he tweeted.

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Oscar de la Renta among Clinton farewell dinner guests

William Hague will host a farewell dinner for US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tonight.

Former president of the United States, and husband of Hilary, Bill Clinton will be among the guests, along with their daughter Chelsea and husband Marc Mezvinsky.

Foreign Secretary William Hague is hosting the private farewell dinner for his opposite number in the US Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

Other guests include: Fashion mogul Oscar de la Renta and wife, General Martin Dempsey, Senator Feinstein, politicians Dr Alan Greenspan and Ms Andrea Mitchell, former White House chief of staff Jack Lew, and his replacement Denis McDonough, French Lawyer Christine Lagarde.

Senator McCain, Acting director of the CIA Mike Morrell, outgoing Secretary of Defence Leon Panetta, American diplomat Dr Susan Rice, and stateman George Shultz.

Senator John Kerry, who has been picked as Hillary's replacement will also attend.

Obama and Clinton discuss 'personal journey'

President Obama and Hillary Clinton have spoken of their relationship during a joint interview on CBS's 60 minutes. President Obama heaped praise on the outgoing Secretary of State as she prepares to step down. Clinton would not be drawn on whether she plans to run for presidency in 2016.

Hague to host dinner to mark Clinton exit

Foreign Secretary William Hague will mark the departure of Hillary Clinton as US Secretary of State tonight by hosting a farewell party for her in Washington.

Mr Hague is due to preside over a private farewell dinner for his opposite number during a visit to the US capital where he is expected also to hold meetings with officials, politicians and business leaders.

Yesterday the Foreign Secretary tweeted:

He also retweeted praise for Mrs Clinton sent to him by Britons:

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Clinton describes 'highly personal' work

As she began her testimony, her voice cracked at times as she said her work is sometimes highly personal, she told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee:

I stood next to President Obama as the Marines carried those flag-draped caskets off the plane at Andrews. I put my arms around the mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, sons and daughters.

At another point, she defended UN Ambassador Susan Rice, who was vilified for widely debunked claims five days after the attack that protests precipitated the raid rather than terrorism. She challenged the Republican focus on Rice's comments, which were based on intelligence talking points.

"What difference does it make?" a clearly exasperated Clinton told Sen. Ron Johnson, a Republican, after he pressed her. She insisted that "people were trying in real time to get to the best information," and that her focus was on looking ahead on how to improve security.

Clinton: 'Algerian militants had weapons from Libya'

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said that Algerian militants involved in the attack on a desert gas plant in Algeria this month had weapons from Libya.

"There is no doubt that the Algerian terrorists had weapons from Libya. There is no doubt that the Malian remnants of AQIM have weapons from Libya," she is speaking at a Senate hearing on the September attack on the US mission in Benghazi, Libya.

AQIM - Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb - is an affiliate of al Qaeda.

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