Joe Biden nominates Antony Blinken as Secretary of State

Joe Biden nominates Antony Blinken as Secretary of State
Veteran White House advisor Antony Blinken has been nominated as Joe Biden's Secretary of State.
3 min read
23 November, 2020
Blinken is one of the US' most respected diplomats [Getty]

Joe Biden will chose Antony Blinken as his Secretary of State, according to media reports on Monday, a veteran diplomat who was one of the most likely picks for the position.

Blinken has been one of Biden's closest adviser on foreign policy issues and a key figure during Barack Obama’s administration.

He served as national security adviser when Biden was vice-president and also director of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for the Democrats.

Blinken is well known for his competency in the arena of foreign policy, with Bloomberg and Reuters reporting that he will serve as Secretary of State for Biden when he takes office in January.

He has a mixed reputation in the Arab world with some welcoming his acknowledgement of the mistakes made by the US regarding Syria, with hopes he might readdress this.

"The last administration has to acknowledge that we failed, not for want of trying, but we failed. We failed to prevent a horrific loss of life. We failed to prevent massive displacement of people internally in Syria and, of course, externally as refugees. And it's something that I will take with me for the rest of my days. It's something that I feel very strongly," he said, according to CBS News in May.

"So, you know, what happened, unfortunately, since then is that a horrific situation was made arguably even worse. And to the extent the United States had any remaining leverage in Syria to try to effectuate some more positive outcome. Unfortunately, the Trump administration has more or less turned that up to pulling out entirely in Syria has taken away significant leverage." 

Blinken is also viewed as a close ally of Israel, but has spoken out against the Israeli annexation of the West Bank and in favour of a two-state solution.

However, he is also against back punitive measures against Israel if it went ahead with the annexation.

"Now, let me be clear about one thing, because the vice president can clear about it himself. He would not tie our military assistance to Israel to any political decisions that it makes," he said.

"Israel's security is challenged on a daily basis. They face existential threats every single day. And he's made clear that he would not tie our military assistance to this. So that's the one thing he's… explicitly ruled out. Now, that's probably the greatest point of leverage. Well, again, it's in our interest that Israel have the means to secure itself. And that's not something he would touch."

Jake Sullivan, a close aide of Hillary Clinton, is also likely to be named as Biden's national security adviser, according to Bloomberg.

Neither appointment was confirmed by Biden's team, but the president-elect is expected to announce his new government on Tuesday.

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