The US Senate has narrowly confirmed President Donald Trump's nominee Mike Pompeo as secretary of state. The former CIA director had no time to settle, heading immediately to a NATO summit in Brussels.
US lawmakers confirmed Mike Pompeo as the country's top diplomat in a tight vote Thursday. The Senate voted 57 to 42 in favor of the hawkish diplomat as several Democratic lawmakers also pledged their support.
The 54-year-old former CIA chief is expected to take up his duties immediately.
According to the US State Department, Pompeo was scheduled to be sworn in straight away and leave for a meeting with NATO foreign ministers.
Pompeo has been installed after US President Donald Trump decided to replace previous State Secretary Rex Tillerson over policy disputes and clashes with the president.
Weeks before his Senate confirmation, Pompeo secretly traveled to North Korea to meet Kim Jong Un and negotiate the expected breakthrough over Pyongyang's nuclear program. However, the new secretary of state is considered a foreign policy hawk, especially on the issue of Iran nuclear deal.
After graduating from the US military academy of West Point, Pompeo served as a military officer before obtaining a law degree from Harvard. He was elected to US Congress in 2010 as a member of the conservative Tea Party movement. Donald Trump named him CIA director after taking office last year.
dj/rt (dpa, Reuters, AFP, AP)