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Pompeo Confirmed As U.S. Secretary Of State

The U.S. Senate has confirmed former CIA Director Mike Pompeo as secretary of state.

Senators on April 26 voted 57-42 to approve Pompeo as the top U.S. diplomat, the second of Donald Trump's presidency.

He was later sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito.

In a statement, Trump applauded his new secretary of state as someone who "will always put the interests of America first."

Pompeo has become one of Trump's most trusted advisers during his 15 months as CIA director. Most recently, he has been deeply involved in preparations for Trump's summit with Kim Jong Un, including meeting with the North Korean leader three weeks ago.

The approval comes in time for Pompeo to attend a NATO foreign ministers' meeting in Brussels on April 27.

The State Department said he will then visit three U.S. allies in the Middle East: Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan.

Democrats have accused Pompeo of being too hawkish and they worried about previous harsh statements he has made about Islam.

Trump fired his first secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, last month, citing differences over key policy questions, including whether to continue honoring the Iran nuclear deal.

Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.

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