Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. File photo/AP
Gulf Today Report
President-elect Joe Biden is expected to nominate Antony Blinken as secretary of state as he is moving forward on his campaign pledge to restore America as a leader on the global stage.
According to multiple people familiar with the Biden team’s planning Biden will name Antony Blinken as secretary of state and Linda Thomas-Greenfield as ambassador to the UN, bringing deep foreign-policy backgrounds to the nascent administration while providing a sharp contrast with Trump, who distrusted such experience and embraced an "America First" policy that strained longstanding US relationships.
Blinken could be named as early as Tuesday, according to sources close to Biden, while Axios first reported Thomas-Greenfield's impending nomination.
Blinken, 58, served as deputy secretary of state and deputy national security adviser during the Obama administration and has close ties with Biden. If nominated and confirmed, he would be a leading force in the incoming administration’s bid to reframe the US relationship with the rest of the world after four years in which President Donald Trump questioned longtime alliances.
President-elect Joe Biden gestures during a rally. File photo
In nominating Blinken, Biden would sidestep potentially thorny issues that could have affected Senate confirmation for two other candidates on his short list to be America’s top diplomat: Susan Rice and Sen. Chris Coons.
Rice would have faced significant GOP opposition and likely rejection in the Senate. She has long been a target of Republicans, including for statements she made after the deadly 2012 attacks on Americans in Benghazi, Libya.
Coons’ departure from the Senate would have come as other Democratic senators are being considered for administrative posts and the party is hoping to win back the Senate. Control hangs on the result of two runoff elections in Georgia in January.
Biden is likely to name his Cabinet picks in tranches, with groups of nominees focused on a specific top area, like the economy, national security or public health, being announced at once. Advisers to the president-elect’s transition have said they’ll make their first Cabinet announcements on Tuesday.
If Biden focuses on national security that day, Michèle Flournoy, a veteran of Pentagon policy jobs, is a top choice to lead the Defense Department. Jake Sullivan, a longtime adviser to Biden and Hillary Clinton, is also in the mix for a top job, including White House national security adviser.
For his part, Blinken recently participated in a national security briefing with Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and has weighed in publicly on notable foreign policy issues in Egypt and Ethiopia.
“If Iran comes back into strict compliance with its commitments under the JCPOA, the United States will do the same and is prepared to engage in discussions with Iran toward that end,” a joint statement from the four nations said.
Under former President Donald Trump, the United States quit the council in June 2018 but the Biden government returned as an observer earlier this month.
North Korean state media on Wednesday slammed former US vice president Joe Biden as an “imbecile” and a “fool of low IQ” after he criticised leader Kim Jong Un.
While addressing the ceremony shown live on Pakistani TV channels, General Bajwa expressed his gratitude for representing the Queen, terming it a "unique honour and great privilege.”
Trump's lawyers announced that they would not oppose obtaining the search warrant for his Florida residence unsealed from the public, the Justice Department said in a court filing, indicating the opening could take place shortly.
The Integrated Transport Centre (ITC), affiliated to the Department of Municipalities and Transport - Abu Dhabi, announced the opening of several roads with new signalized intersections on Al Reem Island, starting Saturday, August 13, to serve the public and enhance traffic flow and safety on the roads.