By Julian Pecquet - 04/19/13 03:39 PM EDT
The bombings in Boston have only strengthened President Obama's resolve to strengthen international cooperation against terrorism, Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday.
“President Obama has made this a critical component of his foreign policy, and obviously this just emphasizes that,” Kerry said.
"I think it's fair to say that for this entire week, we've been in a pretty direct confrontation with evil, and I want to congratulate and thank all the law enforcement authorities for the extraordinary job that they have been doing on behalf of our citizens."
Kerry, a former senator of Massachusetts, made the remarks in a press conference alongside Mexican Foreign Secretary Jose Antonio Meade after their bilateral meeting at the State Department. Kerry said cross-border security was a topic of discussion following reports that the two suspects in the attack were Chechen immigrants.
“This underscores the importance of all of us maintaining vigilance and cooperating together internationally,” Kerry said. “That's part of what we're talking about here. Terror anywhere in the world, against any country, is unacceptable, and we need to continue to fight against it in the way that we are. It strengthens, actually, my resolve and my sense that we're on the right track, but there's more we can do and we're going to continue to do it.”
“At this point, law enforcement officers are carrying out an ongoing investigation and frankly they're in some critical stages here,” Kerry said. “It would just be entirely inappropriate for me to be commenting on the tic-toc or on the larger issues.”
Kerry said he has temporarily postponed his planned trip to Latin America because of the bombing. He went on to defend the security of America's borders amid calls by some Republicans to slow down the immigration debate in the wake of the Boston bombing.
Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) said the suspects' immigrant status should be reason for caution earlier in the week. And Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) during his opening statement at a Judiciary panel meeting on immigration reform Friday said the hearing was crucial “in light of all that’s happening in Massachusetts right now.”
“The people of the United States at this moment are also intently focused on the immigration debate,” Kerry said. “So let me note that [the U.S. and Mexican authorities have made] significant progress in building and strengthening our security over the course of the past 10 years.”