When Secretary of State John Kerry was scrambling last week to prevent the leader of the Syrian opposition from boycotting a meeting with him in Rome – a snub that could have spoiled his maiden voyage as the nation’s chief diplomat – he leaned on an old Senate colleague to help him out: Vice President Joe Biden.
After Kerry extracted an agreement from the Syrian opposition leader, Mouaz al-Khatib, to show up, Biden sealed the deal with a follow-up call.
The vice president, who had met al-Khatib at a security conference in Munich, praised him for his courage, told him how important the meeting was and promised to stay in touch, according to the White House.
It was an example of how Biden has used relationships to amass influence in the Obama administration – a talent that officials predicted would allow him to further expand his influence on foreign policy during Obama’s second term. NYT