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Kerry Welcomes Predecessors at New U.S. Diplomacy Center

Image: Kerry is joined by former Kissinger, Baker, Albright, Powell and Clinton for a cermonial groundbreaking for the U.S. Diplomacy Center museum at the State Department in Washington
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, fourth from left, is joined by former Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton, from left, Madeleine Albright, Henry Kissinger, James Baker and Colin Powell for a ceremonial groundbreaking for the U.S. Diplomacy Center museum at the State Department in Washington on Sept. 3. JONATHAN ERNST / Reuters

Secretary of State John Kerry welcomed five of his predecessors in a rare meeting on Wednesday that included the groundbreaking of the United States Diplomacy Center in Washington. Former Secretaries of State Henry A. Kissinger, James A. Baker, III, Madeleine K. Albright, Colin L. Powell, and Hillary Rodham Clinton, joined Kerry at the event and made remarks about the center and the importance of diplomacy.

"I think at a time when there are those who wonder about our role in the world, this center sends an important, indeed, an indispensable message," Clinton said at the gathering, "That diplomacy and development are the heart of America's leadership, and that that leadership remains absolutely essential for everything we hope to see happen in the world, not just for our country and for Americans, but for people everywhere."

The 40,000 square foot center is the nation’s first museum and education center devoted to exploring the history, practice and challenges of U.S. Diplomacy, according to a press release.

Image: Kerry is joined by Kissinger, Baker, Albright, Powell and Clinton for a ceremony before breaking ground on the U.S. Diplomacy Center museum at the State Department in Washington
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, right, is joined by former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger, left to right, James Baker, Madeleine Albright, Colin Powell and Hillary Clinton for a ceremony before breaking ground on the U.S. Diplomacy Center museum at the State Department in Washington on Sept. 3. JONATHAN ERNST / Reuters

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— Catherine Chomiak and Daniella Silva