The US Senate has overwhelmingly confirmed South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley as President Donald Trump’s pick for the ambassador to the United Nations.
In a decisive vote on Tuesday, the Senate approved Haley for the post 96-4, delivering the new president one of his most potent diplomatic tools.
The 45-year-old will assume the job at UN headquarters in New York despite conflicting viewpoints about her diplomatic and foreign policy record.
While most lawmakers hailed the nominee, a few expressed concerns about her lack of experience in the international arena, arguing that she has only held office in the US state.
“The position of US ambassador to the United Nations requires a high level of expertise on international affairs, not someone who will be learning on the job,” said Democratic Senator Chris Coons.
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, however, said Haley had exhibited great competence as the South Carolina governor during her tenure.
“The skill set she has for bringing people together, I have seen,” Graham told the chamber.
One can learn the intricacies of foreign policy, he added, “but diplomacy is something you either have or you don’t.”
During her confirmation hearing last week, Haley voiced disagreement over Trump’s major campaign proposals regarding the creation of a Muslim registry in the US and a ban on Muslim immigration and travel.
“This administration and I do not think there should be any registry,” she said.
Haley also threw her support behind relocating the US embassy from Tel Aviv to East Jerusalem al-Quds, a move that would enrage Palestinians and create an international furor, particularly among Muslims in the Middle East.