U.S. Senate committee approves Kerry as state secretary

U.S. Senate committee approves Kerry as state secretary
# 29 January 2013 18:57 (UTC +04:00)

Kerry's nomination must be confirmed by a full Senate vote, which is due to take place later Tuesday. He is expected to win an easy confirmation by the Senate.

Kerry, a Democratic Senator, was nominated by U.S. President Barack Obama on Dec. 21 as the next chief diplomat of the United States.

Kerry, 69, won a Silver Star, a Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts for his service in Vietnam from 1968 to 1969. After returning home, he became an anti-war hero.

First elected to the Senate as a representative of Massachusetts in 1984, Kerry is serving his fifth term in the chamber. He was elected to chair the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in December 2008 after then chairman Joe Biden was elected vice president.

A Democrat, Kerry launched a bid for the White House in 2004 but lost to the then incumbent George W. Bush by a margin of 34 electoral votes.

As a reliable emissary of the Obama administration, Kerry went to talk Afghan President Hamid Karzai into agreeing to a run-off presidential election in 2009.

And in 2011, he secured the release by Pakistan of a CIA contractor accused of killing two Pakistanis as well as the return of parts of a U.S. stealth helicopter which crashed in an operation inside the south Asian nation in which al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden was killed.

Kerry offered support to Obama's presidential elections, and acted in preparation for his debate with Mitt Romney, the president's Republican rival.