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America Has a New No. 1 Diplomat

Antony Blinken is confirmed as secretary of state
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 26, 2021 12:05 PM CST

(Newser) – President Biden's team is falling into place. The Senate on Tuesday confirmed Antony Blinken as America’s top diplomat, per the AP. As secretary of state, Blinken will be tasked with carrying out Biden’s commitment to reverse the Trump administration’s “America First” doctrine that weakened international alliances. Senators voted 78-22 to approve Blinken, a longtime Biden confidant, as the nation’s 71st secretary of state, succeeding Mike Pompeo. The position is the most senior Cabinet position, with the secretary fourth in the line of presidential succession. Blinken, 58, served as deputy secretary of state and deputy national security adviser during the Obama administration. He has pledged to be a leading force in the administration’s bid to reframe the US relationship with the rest of the world.

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Blinken vowed at his confirmation hearing that the Biden administration would approach the world with both humility and confidence, saying, “We have a great deal of work to do at home to enhance our standing abroad.” Despite promising renewed American leadership and an emphasis on shoring up strained ties with allies in Europe and Asia, Blinken told lawmakers that he agreed with many of Trump’s foreign policy initiatives. He backed the so-called Abraham Accords, which normalized relations between Israel and several Arab states, as well as a tough stance on China over human rights and its assertiveness in the South China Sea. He did, however, signal that the Biden administration is interested in bringing Iran back into compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal from which Trump withdrew in 2018. (Also, Blinken is a rocker.)

(Read more Antony Blinken stories.)

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