Senate confirms Antony Blinken as secretary of state

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Jan. 26 (UPI) -- The Senate on Tuesday voted overwhelmingly to confirm Antony Blinken as President Joe Biden's secretary of state.

The chamber voted 78-22 to fill a key position on Biden's Cabinet.

Blinken served as deputy secretary of state under former President Barack Obama.

As a foreign policy expert, he's played a key role in crafting U.S. foreign policy actions in the Middle East.

Blinken, 58, is considered by many a moderate and is expected to play a key role in rejoining the United States to the Paris Climate Agreement.

The American Foreign Service Association, the professional organization for the U.S. foreign service, welcomed the confirmation.

"As we have done for his predecessors, AFSA extends our congratulations and welcome to Secretary Blinken," the organization said.

"As the State Department's leadership team is announced and confirmed over the coming weeks and months, AFSA and its members stand ready to do our utmost to ensure the success of America's foreign policy."

Blinken joins several others confirmed to Biden's Cabinet in recent days, including Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, national security adviser Jake Sullivan and Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines.

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