Washington, April 27: Mike Pompeo was sworn in as the 70th US Secretary of State, after the Senate voted to confirm installing the former CIA Director as the nation’s top diplomat, the media reported.
Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito administered the oath at 2 p.m. on Thursday, CNN quoted State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert as saying.
The Senate voted 57-42 to confirm Pompeo.
“I’m delighted to be secretary of state and completely humbled by the responsibility. I’m looking forward to serving the American people and getting to work right away,” Pompeo said in a statement.
Present Republicans approved Pompeo. In addition, independent Senator Angus King of Maine had also announced his support as have several Democrats: Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Doug Jones of Alabama, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Donnelly of Indiana.
In a statement, President Donald Trump welcomed the Senate’s vote.
“Having a patriot of Mike’s immense talent, energy, and intellect leading the Department of State will be an incredible asset for our country at this critical time in history,” said Trump.
“He will always put the interests of America first. He has my trust. He has my support. Today, he has my congratulations on becoming America’s 70th Secretary of State.”
The Thursday vote will allow Pompeo to travel to Brussels, followed by Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Jordan, reports CNN.
In Belgium, he will represent the US at the NATO foreign ministerial and meet with counterparts, including the Turkish and Italian foreign ministers.
He will then travel to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia where he will meet King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. From there, he will travel to Israel, where he will meet Prime Minister Netanyahu, and Jordan where he will meet with King Abdullah.
“No other Secretary in recent history has gone on a trip as quickly as he has,” Nauert noted just before Pompeo boarded his flight on Thursday night.
Trump fired his first Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in March. He tapped Pompeo, a former Kansas Republican Congressman, to take the job after the two developed a close relationship during his tenure as the chief intelligence officer.