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U.S. Senate panel approves Rice nomination for Secretary of State

The panel approved her 16-2. A final Senate vote is expected Thursday

Posted: January 19, 2005

VOA News, Washington

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has approved the nomination of Condoleezza Rice for Secretary of State, after a two-day confirmation hearing where she was repeatedly questioned over faulty pre-war intelligence on Iraq and ongoing instability in that country.

The panel approved her 16-2 Wednesday. A final Senate vote is expected Thursday.

During her confirmation hearings, Ms. Rice went head-to-head with California Democrat Barbara Boxer, who said she believes the Bush administration knowingly misled the American public about alleged weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

The nominee said she believes the world is better off without Saddam Hussein. But she said she is fully aware of the sacrifices made by U.S. troops in Iraq.

Both Republican and Democratic senators also expressed concern over the slow pace of training Iraqi security forces. Ms. Rice said she would be the first to admit there are serious problems with those forces.

Illinois Democrat Barak Obama also urged the Bush administration to reveal a timetable for pulling U.S. troops out of Iraq, saying Americans deserve a satisfactory answer.


• Related item: Rice Presents a Foreign Policy Based on Alliance-Building

• Related item: Latin America, Western Hemisphere, "obviously extremely critical to our agenda". (Part of Ms. Rice's testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee)

• Related item: Ms. Rice's opening statement


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