Senate confirms Antony Blinken as Biden's secretary of state

Where does Biden secretary of state nominee Antony Blinken stand on the issues?

Security Studies president Jim Hanson provides analysis on ‘Fox & Friends First.’

The Senate on Tuesday voted 78-22 to confirm Antony Blinken as the next secretary of state — who will be a key figure in President Biden’s efforts to restore alliances across the globe and forge a new foreign policy approach.

It makes Blinken the 71st secretary of state. He succeeds Mike Pompeo as America’s top diplomat.

Blinken, who has worked for the Senate and the Clinton and Obama administrations, said his priorities are building up the diplomatic corps and revitalizing core alliances.

ANTONY BLINKEN: WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT BIDEN’S SECRETARY OF STATE PICK

Blinken, 58, was a member of President Bill Clinton’s National Security Council staff from 1994 to 2001. He began his long relationship with Biden in 2002 when he became the Democratic staff director for the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, where Biden served as chairman. 

When Biden became vice president in 2009, Blinken also moved over to the administration as Biden’s national security adviser and later promoted to deputy national security adviser to President Obama. 

Blinken was confirmed once before by the Senate on Dec. 16, 2014, when Obama nominated Blinken to become deputy secretary of state under John Kerry. The vote was 55-38.

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He’s earned bipartisan praise for his long foreign policy expertise and for his responses during a smooth confirmation hearing on Jan. 19, 2021. However, critics have accused him of being on the wrong side of key foreign policy matters.

He was Biden’s adviser when the then senator backed the Iraq War — something Biden later called a mistake. Blinken also reportedly supported military action in Libya and pushed for the U.S. to be more aggressive in Syria.

“I think it would be a grave mistake to confirm a secretary of state who has a demonstrated track record of repeatedly making the wrong decisions when it comes to American foreign policy and national security,” said Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., during Blinken’s confirmation hearing.

Blinken will play a key role in reversing much of President Donald Trump’s foreign policy moves, and adopt a more multilateralist approach to foreign policy matters. Biden has promised to reenter the Iran nuclear deal, from which President Trump withdrew, reestablish relations with Cuba and push for a new START nuclear deal with Russia.

However, Blinken said last week that Trump was right to take a tougher stance on China.

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“President Trump was right in taking a tougher approach to China,” said Blinken. “Not the way he went about it in a number of ways, but the basic principle was right.” 

He has also backed the Abraham Accords — a number of deals normalizing relations between Israel and Arab states.

Already Biden has halted the U.S. withdrawal from the World Health Organization and reentered the Paris climate agreement.

Fox News’ Marisa Schultz and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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