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US election: Joe Biden expected to nominate Blinken as secretary of state

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In this Nov. 19, 2020, file photo President-elect Joe Biden speaks at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Delaware, US
In this Nov. 19, 2020, file photo President-elect Joe Biden speaks at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Delaware, US   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File
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US president-elect Joe Biden is expected to name Antony Blinken as secretary of state to lead the country's state department, according to the Associated Press, citing multiple sources.

The former deputy secretary of state and deputy national security adviser during the Obama administration and is a longtime Democratic foreign policy advisor.

"Democracy is in retreat around the world, and unfortunately it’s also in retreat at home because of the president taking a two-by-four to its institutions, its values and its people every day," Blinken told The Associated Press in September.

"Our friends know that Joe Biden knows who they are. So do our adversaries. That difference would be felt on day one.”

It comes amid reports the US president-elect Joe Biden's first Cabinet picks could be announced on Tuesday.

Ron Klain, Biden’s incoming chief of staff, however, offered no details on Sunday about which department heads Biden would first announce.

Biden has said he wants a cabinet that is diverse and reflects the United States.

He is being watched to see whether he will make history by nominating the first woman to lead the Pentagon, the Treasury Department or the Department of Veterans Affairs, or the first African American at the top of the Defence Department, the Interior Department or the Treasury Department.

Biden said last week he had settled on his pick for treasury secretary.

Klain said the Trump administration's refusal to clear the way for Biden's team to have access to key information about agencies and federal dollars for the transition is taking its toll on planning, including the Cabinet selection process.

Trump's General Services Administration has yet to acknowledge that Biden won the election.

Looking ahead to the Jan. 20 inauguration, Klain said it is “going to definitely have to be changed” due to the coronavirus pandemic, and that the Biden team is consulting with Democratic leadership in the House and Senate over their plans.

“They’re going to try to have an inauguration that honours the importance and the symbolic meaning of the moment, but also does not result in the spread of the disease. That’s our goal,” Klain said.