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US Senate approves John Kerry as secretary of state

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The US Senate has approved Senator John Kerry as the next secretary of state by a wide majority.

On Tuesday, the Senate voted 94 to 3 in favor of President Barack Obama’s nominee for the post, after the chamber’s Foreign Relations Committee endorsed the Kerry nomination earlier in the day.

Republicans and Democrats praised the 69-year-old as the ideal successor to Hillary Rodham Clinton, who has been the secretary of state since 2009.

Kerry has represented Massachusetts in the US Senate since 1985 after being elected to five terms.

He was the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate in 2004 but lost to George W. Bush in a close election.

Kerry, who is a Vietnam War veteran, has been a member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for 28 years and chaired it for four years.

The five-term senator has served as Obama’s unofficial envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“Sen. Kerry will need no introduction to the world’s political and military leaders and will begin day one fully conversant not only with the intricacies of US foreign policy, but able to act on a multitude of international stages,” said Senator Bob Menendez, who will succeed Kerry as the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Earlier in the day, Kerry said he was “humbled” and gratified by the support he received from the members of the committee.

“They’ve been wonderful, they’ve been really superb,” he said of his committee colleagues.


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