WASHINGTON, Oct. 24 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday said the partial federal government shutdown has damaged the country's image abroad, warning politicians to avoid another such shutdown.
"As President Obama said, the shutdown encouraged our enemies, emboldened our competitors and it depressed our friends who look to us for steady leadership," said Kerry during remarks made at a conference held at the Center for American Progress, a Washington think tank.
Kerry said the shutdown had delayed aid to Israel, hampered scientific research and the execution of trade agreements, and "it stunted our ability to promote the principles and values that our veterans sacrificed for."
Kerry said the damage to U.S. reputation abroad can be mended, but politicians need to avoid a future shutdown.
"What we do in Washington matters deeply to them (foreign governments) and that is why a self-inflicted wound like a shutdown we just endured can never happen again," said Kerry, adding "being a responsible democracy requires that we don't walk ourselves to the brink every opportunity we get."
The federal government was shutdown for 16 days, but was reopened after both chambers of Congress approved a deal to fund the government through Jan. 15 and raise the debt ceiling until Feb.7 late on Oct.16.