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7 things to know about Biden’s latest senior appointments

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NEW YORK — US President-elect Joe Biden on Tuesday introduced his nominees for key members of his national security and foreign policy team, declaring that “America is back, ready to lead the world.”

“These public servants will restore America’s global leadership and moral leadership,” Biden said as the six men and women stood behind him wearing face masks.

Here’s what you need to know about the group of appointees who, if confirmed, will enter their posts with a wealth of experience, even while checking many “firsts” boxes.

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1. Secretary of State nominee Blinken is a ‘mensch’ who wants to build on the Abraham Accords

Former colleagues of Tony Blinken who spoke with The Times of Israel could not have been more effusive in their praise for the longtime diplomat. Ex-White House Middle East envoy Dennis Ross highlighted the “intellectual honesty to him, in that he doesn’t keep a position if he realizes after the fact that it is not the right one.”

In an interview with The Times of Israel last month, Blinken said he supports the Abraham Accords brokered by the Trump administration between Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. He expressed hope that as more countries normalize relations with Israel, Jerusalem will feel more secure and more willing to advance the peace process with the Palestinians as well.

“He’s a mensch above all else,” said Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations executive vice president Malcolm Hoenlein.

Blinken also has a lighter side, which includes a ’70s-inspired band cleverly called Ablinken that has two tracks on Spotify.

For more on the secretary of state nominee, see ToI’s profile of him. US President-elect Joe Biden’s nominee for secretary of state, Tony Blinken, speaks at The Queen theater, November 24, 2020, in Wilmington, Delaware. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

2. National security adviser pick Sullivan brokers ceasefires and nuclear accords

At 43, Jake Sullivan will be one of the youngest national security advisers in decades. Yet, he brings with him a wealth of experience on the international stage. Sullivan served as national security adviser to Biden when he was vice president. Before that, he was a longtime aide to former secretary of state Hillary Clinton and was credited for launching the secret talks with Iranian officials in 2012 that laid the groundwork for the nuclear deal. That same year, he played a key role in brokering the ceasefire that ended Operation Pillar of Defense, launched by Israel in response to Hamas rocket fire from Gaza.

Both of those efforts were highlighted by Biden when he introduced Sullivan on........

© The Times of Israel

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