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U.S. Senate panel backs confirmation of Blinken to be top U.S. diplomat

WASHINGTON, Jan 25 (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Monday approved the nomination of President Joe Biden's nominee, veteran diplomat Antony Blinken, to serve as secretary of state.

The committee voted by 15 to 3 in favor of the nomination, clearing the way for Blinken's consideration by the full Senate as soon as this week. (Reporting by Patricia Zengerle and Humeyra Pamuk; Editing by Leslie Adler)