Rex Tillerson sworn in as US Secretary of State

Express News Global

Tillerson, who is the former chairman and chief executive of Exxon Mobil, was confirmed by the Senate in a 56-43 vote.

Washington: Rex Tillerson has been sworn in as US President Donald Trump’s secretary of state after having been confirmed by the Senate earlier on Wednesday.

US President Donald Trump, at the swearing-in ceremony in Oval Office, said: “Though you inherit enormous challenges in the Middle East and around the world, I do believe we can achieve peace and stability in these very, very troubled times.”

Tillerson, who is the former chairman and chief executive of Exxon Mobil, was confirmed by the Senate in a 56-43 vote. He was administered the oath of office by vice president Mike Pence.

His confirmation as the top US diplomat was welcomed by the White House and the Republican party but opposed by Democratic lawmakers in the Senate, who raked up his ties with Russia and President Vladimir Putin.

At the ceremony, Trump lavished praise on the former oil executive for his “diplomatic skills”, and said it was time to bring a “clear-eyed focus to foreign affairs, to take a fresh look at the world around us, and to seek new solutions grounded in very ancient truths.”

“These truths include the fact that nations have a right to protect their interests, that all people have a right to freely pursue their own destiny, and that all of us are better off when we act in concert and not in conflict. There’s rarely been conflict like we have in the world today — very sad,” Trump said. In his brief remarks, Tillerson expressed thanks to Trump for giving him the opportunity.