QUICKQUOTE: JOHN KERRY

The Associated Press By The Associated Press Published:

"The United States sends its best wishes to His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI as he leaves the Vatican after years of service and dedication to God, the Catholic Church, and world peace.  As the papal conclave assembles, I look forward to continuing our important relationship with the Vatican and working with the new pope to foster dialogue and promote human rights and human dignity throughout the world."

-- New U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, visiting Rome for a conference on Syria as part of his first diplomatic tour abroad.