16:20 GMT15 January 2021
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee has approved President Donald Trump’s nomination of Kelly Knight Craft to be the next United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said.

    "The Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved the nomination of Kelly Knight Craft of Kentucky to be the US UN Ambassador," McConnell said via Twitter. "She is a phenomenal selection by POTUS [President of the United States] and I'm proud to support her nomination."

    Craft’s nomination will now go before the full Senate for formal approval, McConnell added.

    Craft previously served as United States ambassador to Canada and was involved in Trump’s negotiations with Ottawa to replace the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with a new trade treaty. She previously served as a United States delegate to the United Nations in 2007 under President George W. Bush.

    Craft's husband, billionaire Joseph Craft, is the CEO of coal giant Alliance Resource Partners, a company that has complained that global climate change mechanisms - including the 2016 Paris Agreement - have had a negative impact on the industry.

    US Senator Dick Durbin, the highest-ranking Democratic in the Senate, met with Craft earlier in the day and said he was worried that she was not prepared to serve as the US ambassador to the United Nations.

    Durbin during the meeting pressed Craft on her plans to work with allies on crises in Venezuela, Burma, the Middle East and elsewhere, the senator’s office said in a press release.


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