US Senate confirms Blinken as Secretary of State

Lalit K Jha
·2-min read

Washington, Jan 26 (PTI) The US Senate on Tuesday confirmed Antony Blinken, a long-time aide of President Joe Biden, as the next Secretary of State.

Blinken, 58, who is the fourth member of Biden's Cabinet to be confirmed by the Senate, received the support of 78 Senators. He is expected to take up the assignment shortly. As many as 22 Senators voted against him.

“Blinken is just the right person to rebuild and reassert America's national security prerogatives on the global stage, and re-establish the first instrument of American power: diplomacy,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said.

“For four years, the failed diplomacy of the Trump administration weakened our alliances, strengthened and emboldened our adversaries, and tarnished America’s reputation abroad. We must re-affirm our commitment to NATO and other critical alliances around the world,” he said.

During his confirmation hearing, Blinken had advocated the strong relationship with India, saying that India-US relationship enjoys bipartisan support.

“India has been a bipartisan success story over successive administrations. Trump admin has carried this forward, with the concept of an Indo-Pacific and to make sure we were working with India so no country in the region, including China, could challenge its sovereignty,” Blinken had said during his confirmation hearing last week.

Lead Republican of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Michael McCaul hoped the Biden Administration will stick to Blinken’s commitments to focusing on a two-state solution in Israel and holding authoritarian regimes, like Russia and China, accountable for their malign actions.

“Secretary Blinken is clearly experienced, and I look forward to working with him on those areas where we can agree – and holding the Biden administration accountable in areas where we do not,” he said.

Senator Dianne Feinstein said that Blinken’s confirmation as Secretary of State is an important step in rebuilding America’s standing in the world after four years of uncertainty and instability under the Trump administration. His appointment will reassure allies and enemies alike that the United States has returned to the world stage, she said.

“Throughout his distinguished career in public service Mr. Blinken has helped lead US efforts to combat terrorism, address rising concerns in Asia and respond to Russian aggression. He is a crisis-tested leader who will hit the ground running at a time when we face many complex challenges abroad,” Feinstein said. PTI LKJ RS RS