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John Kerry: US election is 'downright embarrassing'

John Kerry addressing a group of students in London today Credit: ITV News

The US Secretary of State has said his country's presidential election is “downright embarrassing”.

Speaking at a Q&A for London sixth-formers alongside Mayor Sadiq Khan, John Kerry added that the election had stepped “out of any norm”.

Asked about how the election has impacted on US relations abroad, Mr Kerry said: "This election has been difficult for our country's perception abroad. There are moments when it is downright embarrassing."

He added: "I could never imagine debates that were not focused on real issues."

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Kerry 'extremely concerned' about direction of Syrian war

US Secretary of State John Kerry has said he is "extremely concerned" about where the conflict in Syria is going.

Speaking at the Washington Ideas Forum, Mr Kerry added that the bombing of Aleppo is "inexcusable and indiscriminate" and "completely against the laws of war".

He reiterated the threat to stop talking with Russia if progress is not made to end the war, saying that there will have to be a moment when the US pursues "other alternatives" on Syria if the conflicting parties do not change course.

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Boris Johnson has already called John Kerry

Boris Johnson addresses staff at the Foreign Office. Credit: PA Wire

Boris Johnson has already made a phonecall to the US in his role as foreign secretary.

Johnson rang Secretary of State John Kerry to tell the US that the country was "at the front of queue" after Brexit.

Johnson has also been pictured addressing 500 staff at the Foreign Office to set out his vision for the future of the department.

Kerry demands aid be allowed into besieged Syrian towns

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has called on the Syrian regime and opposition groups to play a full role in the peace talks in Geneva and demanded that humanitarian aid be allowed into besieged towns to help starving civilians.

The town of Madaya is just an hour's drive from Damascus, and yet in recent months people have been reduced to eating grass and leaves.

How have the regime and the militias responded? By planting landmines and erecting barbed wire to keep relief workers out.

– John Kerry, US Secretary of State

In televised statement , Kerry said "there is no military solution to the conflict", adding that a political solution to the Syrian crisis would undercut support for so-called Islamic State militants.

Negotiators from Syria's main opposition group met UN mediator Staffan de Mistura for the first time today, but have warned they may yet walk away from the Geneva talks unless the suffering of civilians in the five-year conflict is eased.

Earlier the peace process ran into trouble after Islamic State bombers killed more than 60 people near the country's holiest Shi'ite shrine.

The head of the Syrian government delegation said the blasts in Damascus, which the Interior Ministry blamed on a car bomb and two suicide bombers, merely confirmed the link between the opposition and terrorism - even though Islamic State has been excluded from the talks.

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