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U.S. Senate Confirms Haley, Ukraine Sovereignty Advocate, As UN Envoy

The new U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley

The U.S. Senate confirmed President Donald Trump's pick to be U.S. ambassador to the United Nations by a decisive 96-to-4 vote on January 24.

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley won support from most Democratic senators because she testified that she does not support Republican efforts to slash U.S. funding for the UN.

Democratic Senator Ben Cardin said Haley also said that "Crimea is not Russian" despite Moscow's annexation of the peninsula in 2014, and she spoke "very strongly" about defending Ukrainian sovereignty.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker said Haley, the daughter of Indian immigrants, will be a "fierce advocate" for U.S. interests at the UN.

A full Senate vote is expected soon on Trump's choice for secretary of state, former ExxonMobil chief executive Rex Tillerson, who was narrowly approved by the Foreign Relations Committee on January 23.

Tillerson's bid got a key boost when Democratic Senator Joe Manchin announced his support. Manchin, who faces reelection in 2018 in a state that backed Trump heavily in the presidential election, said Tillerson's extensive business career "will bring a unique perspective to the State Department."

Based on reporting by AP and dpa