State Sec'y Kerry Tackles Benghazi, Syria

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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry promised Monday the Obama administration will do everything possible to protect U.S. diplomats serving overseas, vowing to spare no expense in the effort.

"The dangers of diplomacy are not unique to this moment in time: our diplomatic missions didn't become dangerous that night in Benghazi," Kerry told a group of State Department trainees.

Still, he said the Obama administration plans to implement and expand on recommendations made after last year's deadly attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

"We are working to upgrade our capacities. We're bringing on more security personnel, we're enhancing our training, we're putting more Marines at our high threat diplomatic posts, and we're making sure that their first responsibility is protecting our people, not just classified materials," said Kerry.

"We're working more closely with the Defense Department, with our partners, linking our embassies with various military commands to make emergency extradition more central to our military mission," he continued.

"We're upgrading our facilities and we're building new embassies and consulates, and we're making sure the safety and security always gets the attention that it needs and deserves." 

Kerry's speech came ahead of a Mideast trip to push for peace talks between the Syrian rebels and President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

Kerry will meet with America's closest European and Arab allies to discuss solutions for ending more than two years of bloodshed in Syria.
    
For the negotiations to succeed, the United States must have the support of Russia. 

Despite demands from Washington for Assad's ouster, Russia continues to provide Syria's president with military aid and diplomatic support.

Now U.S. and Russian officials say they're working together to start direct peace talks in Geneva next month.

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