The U.S. Senate on Thursday approved former CIA Director, Mike Pompeo, to lead President Donald Trump’s State Department.
The Senate confirmed Pompeo’s nomination for the position of U.S Secretary of State in a 57-42 vote.
On March 13, President Donald Trump announced that he had fired former Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, and nominated Pompeo to take his place, who served as CIA Director since January 23, 2017.
Pompeo had already started diplomatic work prior to the confirmation with visit to North Korea at the beginning of April to lay the groundwork for upcoming summit between Trump and North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un.
Trump and Kim will meet in May or early June at a location that is yet to be determined and it will not be in the U.S.
While heading the CIA, Pompeo was said to have utilised a “gloves off” approach in engaging the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Pompeo said during the confirmation hearing before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the failed state of Syria deserves a severe response because of the threat it poses to national security and regional stability.
He also said the U.S. must end its “soft policy” toward Russia, do more to enforce sanctions via the Magnitsky Act and the Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act.
Pompeo also said the U.S. should continue to provide Ukraine with defensive weapons and maintain sanctions on Russia until Moscow fully complies with the Minsk agreement.
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