WASHINGTON // Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, returned to work yesterday after a month-long absence caused by a series of health scares.
Mrs Clinton had been sidelined since taking ill on her return from a trip to Europe on December 7, and briefly hospitalised for a few days in New York last week.
But the State Department's schedule for the week ahead showed the top diplomat met her assistant secretaries in Washington yesterday. The talks were closed to the press.
A series of other meetings is planned through the week, including talks at the White House today with the outgoing defence secretary, Leon Panetta, and the national security adviser, Tom Donilon.
The high point of the week is Thursday, when Mrs Clinton will host Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president, for a working dinner.
This was a rare absence for the normally indefatigable Mrs Clinton, who in four years in office has travelled almost a million miles, visited 112 countries and spent close to 400 days in a plane.