WASHINGTON - Pakistan's Ambassador to the United States Sherry Rehman has welcomed the nomination of Senator John Kerry as the next US secretary of state, calling him a ‘steadfast’ friend of her country.

"We welcome news of the nomination of Senator John F Kerry as the next US Secretary of State. Senator Kerry is a man of towering stature and accomplishments, having served the United States with great vigor and distinction,” Ambassador Rehman said in a statement.

She said Senator Kerry has demonstrated through the years an extraordinary understanding of the complexities of South and Central Asia.

“He has been a steadfast friend of Pakistan and is keenly aware of the strategic importance of a democratic, economically viable and stable Pakistan,” the ambassador noted.

“We look forward to his confirmation and to working with a statesman of his high moral standing and outstanding diplomatic caliber, to strengthen Pakistan-US relations, and to build peace and stability in South Asia,” she said, according to the statement released by the Pakistani embassy.