12:23 GMT20 September 2020
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    Former Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson was sworn in as the Department of State Secretary on Wednesday after he was confirmed by the Senate in a 56-43 vote.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — US President Donald Trump congratulated Tillerson and his family in a swearing-in ceremony.

    "I want to congratulate you and your entire family on this incredible honor," Trump stated on Wednesday. "You understand that the job of our diplomats and the mission of the State Department is to serve the interest of the United States of America to make our nation safer, our country more prosperous, and our people much more secure."

    After his swearing-in, Tillerson thanked Trump for a unique opportunity to serve the United States and pledged to always protect the country's interests.

    "I will always represent the interests of all of the American people at all times," Tillerson stressed.

    Earlier in the day, Tillerson won majority support in the full Senate vote, with Republicans backing the nominee and most Democrats opposing him.

    Tillerson was nominated for the office by US President-elect Donald Trump in mid-December. The former Exxon Mobil CEO was harshly criticized by US political establishment for his close business ties with Russia and alleged friendly relations with President Putin.

    Experts suggested that his nomination indicates Trump’s willingness to break the ice in Washington-Moscow ties. Donald Trump claimed that Tillerson in the position od Secretary of State would reverse years of foreign policy fiascos.

    Tillerson will address State Department employees on Thursday morning, the department said in a press release following the ceremony.

    “U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will address State Department empoyees upon arrival at the State Department on February 2 at 9:30 a.m. [3:30 p.m. GMT] in the C Street Lobby,” the release stated on Wednesday.


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