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Antony Blinken confirmed as US secretary of state by Senate

The US Senate on Tuesday voted to confirm Antony Blinken as secretary of state, with lawmakers voting 78-22 in favour of the longtime foreign policy adviser.

Washington, 26 January 2021 (dpa/MIA) – The US Senate on Tuesday voted to confirm Antony Blinken as secretary of state, with lawmakers voting 78-22 in favour of the longtime foreign policy adviser.

Blinken has worked with US President Joe Biden for well over a decade, including when Biden was a senator leading the Foreign Affairs Committee. Blinken also served as Biden’s national security adviser from 2009 to 2013, when he was vice president.

The 58-year-old began his career in the State Department during the Clinton administration.

He also served as deputy national security adviser and deputy secretary of state in the Obama administration.

Blinken is an outspoken advocate for the trans-Atlantic relationship and is expected to strengthen the United States’ ties with Europe from within the Biden administration.

In Blinken’s world view, the collapse of strong US alliances under Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, has helped the US’ main strategic competitor, China.

He has argued that Washington’s friendships were an advantage while Beijing lacks deep-rooted global partnerships.

Blinken also helped negotiate the original nuclear deal with Iran and will have to navigate Washington’s security concerns, Europe’s economic needs and Iran’s national interests if he is to steer the US back into the accord, as Biden has indicated he may want to do.

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