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First Gaffe: John Kerry References the Non-Existent Nation of 'Kyrzakhstan' During Speech


Official transcript doesn't mention, though.

In this Feb. 14, 2013 file photo, Secretary of State John Kerry speaks at the State Department in Washington. (Photo: AP)

Sec. of State John Kerry's first gaffe is making headlines. During a speech last week, the former senator and 2004 presidential candidate discussed the nation of "Kyrzakhstan." The problem? This is a fictitious country that you won't find on any world map.

Business Insider has more about Kerry's slip-of-the tongue:

In an embarrassing slip of the tongue, Mr Kerry last week praised US diplomats working to secure "democratic institutions" in the Central Asian country, which does not exist.

The newly minted diplomat was referring to Kyrgyzstan, a poor, landlocked nation of 5.5 million, which he appeared to confuse with its resource-rich neighbour to the north, Kazakhstan.

Kerry's misnaming of the Central Asian country may make some snicker, although mistakes are common among politicians (after all, they're human beings, too). Kyrgyzstan is actually a key American ally in the war in Afghanistan. Additionally, as Business Insider notes, the nation receives a multitude of U.S. aid ($41 million in 2011).

The transcript of Kerry's remarks on the State Department web site includes the proper spelling of the nation's name and doesn't make mention of Kerry's error.

Watch the secretary of state's verbal blunder below:

(H/T: Business Insider)

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