WASHINGTON -- The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday unanimously approved President Barack Obama’s nomination of Senator John F. Kerry to be Secretary of State and sent his name to the full Senate for final confirmation.Pakistan's Ambassador to the United States Sherry Rehman promptly welcomed the panel's action, stating, "we all look forward to working with Kerry and his team at a time of challenging transitions for the region.”"The Pak-US relationship has also recently taken an important turn for a more stable trajectory, and we hope to build on more positives together. We are now engaged in a full spectrum of bilateral dialogue groups at the strategic and working levels across many Ministeries," she added. Kerry, the longtime Senator from Massachusetts and 2004 Democratic Presidential nominee, has served on the committee for decades and has served as the panel’s Chairman for the past four years.President Barack Obama last month nominated Kerry to succeed outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as the country’s top diplomat.The Senate was expected to act later Tuesday, representing the final hurdle for Kerry in his long quest to secure the post of America’s top diplomat. He is expected to be sworn in as Hillary Clinton’s replacement later this week.The Committee’s unanimous voice vote was registered in a brief hearing in an ornate hearing room in the Capitol, where the Committee typically holds its business meetings. Kerry, who is Chairman of the Committee and was absent for the vote, strode in moments later and went around the room thanking individual colleagues for their support.“You’re going to be an incredible Secretary of State,’’ said acting Committee Chairman Robert Menendez, a Democrat, who cited Kerry’s “lightning speed” approval by the Committee.“Thank you all, very very much,” Kerry said. “I’m honoured beyond words.”During his term as head of the influential Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Kerry also co-authored a legislative measure to provide $ 7.5 billion assistance to Pakistan over five years.