Kerry vows to protect American diplomats


Associated Press

Posted on February 4, 2013 at 4:02 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The deaths of four Americans at the U.S. consulate in Libya last September have been on the mind of John Kerry during his first day in his new office as secretary of state.

After noting the deaths of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, Kerry today said the safety of American diplomats will be a top priority. He told foreign service workers this morning that he will protect them from terrorist attacks overseas.

The former Massachusetts senator was greeted with cheers as he arrived at his new office at the State Department.

The first male secretary of state in eight years said he has "big heels to fill."

Kerry is likely to spend much of this week reaching out to foreign leaders.

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159-a-05-(Secretary of State John Kerry, addressing State Department employees)-"heels to fill (laughs fade)"-Secretary of State John Kerry jokes about taking charge of the State Department following some very powerful women, most notably his predecessor -- Hillary Rodham Clinton. (4 Feb 2013)

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170-w-35-(Mark Smith, AP White House correspondent, with Secretary of State John Kerry)--John Kerry has begun his tenure as President Obama's second-term secretary of state. AP White House Correspondent Mark Smith reports. ((Opens with sound)) (4 Feb 2013)

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GRAPHICSBANK: John Kerry, as US Secretary of State, holding his first diplomatic passport from his childhood, Washington, DC, graphic element on gray (4 Feb 2013)

APPHOTO DCMC103: New Secretary of State John Kerry is greeted by State Department staff during a ceremony welcoming him as the 68th secretary of state, Monday, Feb. 4, 2013, at the State Department in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta) (4 Feb 2013)

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