US Senator John Kerry's nomination as the next
US secretary of state cleared a key hurdle Tuesday as he won
unanimous approval from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
The full Senate was expected to take up the nomination later in the day to approve Kerry as the top US diplomat, replacing Hillary Rodham Clinton.
A member of the Foreign Relations Committee throughout his 28 years in the Senate, and its chairman since 2009, Kerry testified to the same panel last week as part of the confirmation process.
Kerry, who ran unsuccessfully for president as a Democrat in 2004, was expected to be easily confirmed by the 100-member Senate.
Kerry has been active in policy toward Afghanistan and Pakistan, strongly engaged on Sudan and South Sudan, and helped push the New START nuclear arms reduction treaty with Russia through the Senate in December 2010.
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