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Rex Tillerson sworn in as top US diplomat

Rex Tillerson, the former chairman and chief executive of Exxon Mobil, has been sworn in as President Donald Trump’s secretary of state, the BBC reports.

The Texas native, 64, was cleared for full Senate approval in a 56-43 vote.

Mr Tillerson, who has never held political office, faced intense scrutiny over his ties to Russia.

“If confirmed, I will work with the governments of Armenia and Azerbaijan to find a peaceful, long-term solution that allows for stability and prosperity in the region,” Tillerson during his  confirmation hearingat the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on January 23.

“The first step in this process must be to build trust by ensuring that all agreements between the parties are respected,” said Tillerson, calling the “frozen” Nagorno-Karabakh conflict “a threat to stability in the region and U.S. national security interests.”

On a question regarding US recognition of the Armenian Genocide and holding Turkey accountable for pursuing its current policy, Tillerson responded to Menendez (D-NJ) and Markey (D-Mass.) by saying, “The tragic atrocities of 1915 remain a painful issue in the relationship between Armenia and Turkey, and it is in the U.S. interest to ensure peaceful and stable relations between the two countries. If confirmed, I will support a full accounting of the historical events and an open dialogue between Armenia and Turkey in the interest of regional stability.”

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