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U.S. Senate Confirms Antony Blinken As Secretary Of State

Antony Blinken speaks on January 19 during his confirmation hearing for the position of U.S. secretary of state.

The U.S. Senate has confirmed Antony Blinken as the new secretary of state with bipartisan support.

Blinken, a veteran diplomat and longtime adviser to President Joe Biden, easily cleared the simple majority needed in the 100-seat Senate for confirmation on January 26.

He succeeds Mike Pompeo, who was one of former President Donald Trump's longest-serving cabinet members.

As the top U.S. diplomat, Blinken will be tasked with renewing U.S. diplomacy and global engagement after four years of Trump's "America First" policy marked by disdain for international institutions and clashes with allies and competitors alike.

Among his first priorities will be to de-escalate soaring tensions with Iran, rebuild damaged relations with allies, and manage an increasingly fraught relationship with China. He will also strive to rebuild what was said to be low morale among career staff at the State Department during the Trump administration.

After serving as national-security adviser to Biden during his terms as vice president, Blinken became deputy national-security adviser under President Barack Obama, and later the No. 2 at the State Department.

Before that Blinken worked as the Democratic staff director of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee when Biden was the committee's chairman.

With reporting by Reuters
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