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Nikki Haley confirmed by Senate as new envoy to United Nations

By Stephen Feller
Nikki Haley confirmed by Senate as new envoy to United Nations
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, pictured during her Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing, was overwhelmingly approved by the U.S. Senate Tuesday in a 96-to-4 vote as President Donald Trump's envoy to the United Nations. File photo by Mike Theiler/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 24 (UPI) -- South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley was confirmed as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations by the Senate on Tuesday in an overwhelming vote in her favor.

The U.S. Senate approved Haley as President Donald Trump's representative at the diplomatic institution, drawing generally positive reviews from senators based on her willingness to break with her knew boss on parts of policy she does not agree with.

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Haley won confirmation in a 96-to-4 vote, with just Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders and Democratic Sens. Chris Coons, Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich the only members of the upper chamber to disapprove.

"The position of U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations requires a high level of expertise on international affairs, not someone who will be learning on the job," Coons said in a statement, however most Senators felt she came across as a competent two-term governor willing to take tough stances when necessary.

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"I have no problem calling people out," Haley said during her Jan. 18 nomination hearing when she criticized the United Nations, which Trump ripped through much of the campaign.

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While noting how much of the U.N. budget is funded by the United States and that there are several areas they could be more effective, Haley said she planned to emphasize to the president the importance of the institution and alliances it fosters.

Haley supports Trump's determination to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a controversial move because both Israelis and Palestinians claim the historic city as their own and it's governance is one of the major issues impeding peace in the region.

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She noted throughout her hearing, however, that she does not totally agree with Trump on other issues and would be willing to say so, impressing Democrats. Haley said during the hearing she thought a tougher line was necessary with Russia than Trump thinks, and that "we can not trust them."

Haley also insisted Trump does not seek a total ban on Muslims entering the country, nor does the administration plan to keep a list of Muslims who are in the United States.

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