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Biden to nominate Caroline Kennedy, Michelle Kwan as ambassadors

Caroline Kennedy previously served as former President Barack Obama's ambassador to Japan. File Photo by CJ Gunther/UPI
Caroline Kennedy previously served as former President Barack Obama's ambassador to Japan. File Photo by CJ Gunther/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 15 (UPI) -- President Joe Biden announced his plan to nominate former diplomat Caroline Kennedy and Olympic figure skater Michelle Kwan to ambassadorships Wednesday.

The White House made the announcement along with several other diplomatic nominations.

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He tapped Caroline Kennedy, daughter of former President John F. Kennedy, to be ambassador to Australia. She previously served as the U.S. ambassador to Japan for four years under the Obama administration.

Caroline Kennedy praised the United States' relationship with Australia in a statement to CNN.

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"I am always grateful to the courageous Solomon Islanders and Australian coast watchers who rescued my father during World War II, and, if confirmed, I will work hard to repay this debt," she said.

"I look forward to collaborating with the government of Australia to strengthen our alliance, improve global health and increase vaccine access during this terrible pandemic and to address the urgent climate crisis. I am excited to get to know the Australian people, learn about their fascinating country and share with them what I love most about America."

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Caroline Kennedy spoke at last year's Democratic National Convention and endorsed Biden early in his candidacy. Kwan, who worked for the 2020 Biden campaign, is expected to be nominated to be ambassador to Belize.

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The five-time World Figure Skating Championship gold-medal winner and 1998 Olympic silver-medal winner has been a prominent activist in the Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders community as well as the Democratic Party since retiring from figure skating in 2006.

"I am honored to be nominated by President Biden to serve as ambassador to Belize, and if confirmed, I will be very proud to serve my country," she tweeted Wednesday.

Biden hasn't had much movement on his diplomatic nominations due to a rule that allows any single senator to put an unofficial hold on any of his nominations. CNBC reported that Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Josh Hawley, R-Mo., have both worked to hold up such nominations.

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Cruz has blocked more than 50 diplomatic nominations over efforts to sanction people involved in the Nord Stream 2 deal.

This week in Washington

Marine One, carrying President Joe Biden, departs from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Friday, to travel to South Carolina State University's fall commencement ceremony. Photo by Sarah Silbiger/UPI | License Photo

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