The US Senate has confirmed veteran diplomat Antony Blinken to serve as secretary of state.
The 100-member upper chamber voted Blinken 78-22, meaning he could be sworn in as the secretary later in the day. A simple majority was needed in the Democratic-controlled Senate for his confirmation.
All of the votes against Blinken came from Republicans.
Blinken, 58, a longtime Biden confidant, has serve as No. 2 at the State Department during former president Barack Obama’s administration, when Biden was vice president.
During his confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee lats week, Blinken pledged to work more closely with allies after former president Donald Trump’s “America First” approach to foreign affairs. He said he would work to revitalise damaged American diplomacy and build a united front to counter the challenges posed by Russia, China and Iran.
Blinken gave the Trump administration some credit for taking a tough approach on China and said he agreed with former secretary Mike Pompeo’s move to accuse China of genocide against Uighurs.
He defended the Iran nuclear deal and would ensure that Tehran would come back into compliance with the deal for Washington to ease sanctions.
Blinken’s confirmation hearing was smooth, with both Democrats and Republicans offering praise. He was a committee staff director — when Biden, who spent decades in the Senate, was chairman — before he joined the Obama administration.