Obama names aide for No. 2 State Department position

Washington: US President Barack Obama Friday nominated a deputy national security adviser to be the No. 2 official at the State Department.

Antony Blinken was tapped for the post of deputy secretary of state, left vacant after William Burns retired last month.

Barack ObamaBarack Obama

"I'm proud to nominate Antony Blinken to be our next deputy secretary of state," Xinhua quoted Obama as saying in a statement. "He is exactly the type of person who we want to represent the United States of America overseas."

Blinken's nomination must have the Senate's confirmation.

Blinken, 52, took his current post in January 2013, and served previously as deputy assistant to the president and national security adviser to Vice President Joseph Biden.

He is no stranger to the State Department, where he once served as special assistant to the assistant secretary of state for European affairs. He was a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank from 2001 to 2002.

Secretary of State John Kerry, who reportedly favours the nomination of Wendy Sherman, the undersecretary of state for political affairs serving as acting deputy secretary of state since Monday, said he is "pleased" to see Blinken's return after his confirmation.

"His experience working on Iran nuclear negotiations, focusing on Iraq and Syria, partnering on Ukraine, planning our new relationship with Afghanistan, and helping build the rebalance to Asia will all be vital to his role as deputy secretary right by my side," Kerry said in a statement.

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