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Joe Biden to pick Antony Blinken as Secretary of State: Reports

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Washington: Joe Biden intends to pick his trusted foreign policy advisor Antony Blinken as the US Secretary of State and Jake Sullivan as National Security Advisor, media reports said on Monday, as the President-elect is poised to make his first round of Cabinet announcements on Tuesday.

Blinken, 58, has served as the Deputy Secretary of State in the second term of the Obama administration and National Security Advisor to Biden when he was the vice president.

A strong India-hand, Blinken was the top foreign policy advisor to the Biden campaign.

“President-elect Joe Biden intends to nominate Antony Blinken to serve as secretary of State, turning to a trusted diplomat and foreign-policy adviser to oversee his work to rebuild US relationships around the globe, according to people familiar with the decision,” The Wall Street Journal reported.

“President-elect Joe Biden is planning to announce that he has selected Antony Blinken, one of his closest and longest-serving foreign policy advisers, as secretary of state,” The Washington Post said.

“Jake Sullivan, another top Biden advisers, is expected to be named as national security adviser, according to two people familiar with the announcement,” the daily said.

Last week, Biden said he had decided on his name for the Treasury Secretary.

“The announcement of Blinken’s selection is expected by Tuesday at the latest, people familiar with the selection said,” the Journal reported.

Blinken also spoke during the virtual celebration of India”s Independence Day organised by the Biden Campaign and addressed by Biden himself and his running mate Kamala Harris, who is now the Vice President-elect.

“The Vice President (Biden) has long been a champion of stronger ties with India. I saw this firsthand, I started working for him in 2002 on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Then, of course, the Obama-Biden administration and his years as Vice President.

“But if you go back 15 years, Joe Biden had a vision for the future of US-India relations. In 2006, he said, my dream is that in 2020, the two closest nations in the world will be India and the United States,” Blinken said on August 15 this year during the virtual event.

“Well, we”re not quite there, but it”s a terrific vision, and one that I know, he will act, to realise, as president of the United States. … He was the driving force of the lifting of nuclear sanctions on India, and then the passage of this landmark India civil nuclear deal. And this is something I got to see up close and personal with him in the, in the Senate,” he said.

According to The Washington Post, Biden also plans to announce Linda Thomas-Greenfield as his nominee for ambassador to the United Nations.

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