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US Secretary of State John Kerry has started his first day in office with a witty and joke-filled speech to his staff.

The former senator and 2004 Democratic presidential candidate was cheered by his foreign service employees. He succeeds female secretaries Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton.

“Can a man actually run the State Department? I don’t know. As the saying goes: I have big heels to fill,” he joked.

Kerry takes over just after the Turkish embassy bomb, with diplomats on high alert.

“Everything I do will be focused on the security and safety of our people,” he said.

Kerry is the son of a diplomat and is expected to continue along the same lines as Hillary Clinton, who left plenty of unfinished business.

“Secretary Kerry now has a lot on his plate. The situations in Iran, Africa and the Middle East require his full attention. And as the bombing of the US embassy in Ankara, Turkey, has shown, America remains vulnerable abroad,” says euronews’ Stefan Grobe.

Copyright © 2014 euronews

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