WASHINGTON - The US Senate, by a vote of 94-2, on Wednesday approved Hillary Rodham Clinton as the secretary of state, paving way for the former first lady to launch the so-called smart power diplomacy. Both Republicans and Democrat viewed the Mrs Clinton nomination's approval as a necessary step so that President Barack Obama could launch his diplomatic efforts to deal with urgent foreign issues, such as the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Afghanistan and Iraq. "The message that the American people are sending us now is they want us to work together and get to work," said Republican Senator of Arizona John McCain, who lost to Obama in the presidential election on November 4. The Obama administration "must use what has been called smart power, the full range of tools at our disposal-diplomatic, economic, military, political, legal and cultural, picking the right tool or combination of tools for each situation," Mrs Clinton told a hearing of the Senate's Foreign Relations Committee last Tuesday. "With smart power, diplomacy will be the vanguard of our foreign policy," Clinton said, adding: "Smart power requires reaching out to both friends and adversaries, to bolster old alliances and forge new ones." Hillary's remark on the smart power was viewed as one the most important guidelines for the foreign policy held by the Obama administration, who has decided to use all tools it can do, including diplomacy, to recover the economy. One of major foreign policy issues facing Hillary is the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. On his first working day as the president, Obama on Wednesday called Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Jordan's King Abdullah and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, to signal his decision to promote the peace process in the region. The president vowed to "active engagement in pursuit of Arab-Israeli peace from the beginning of his term, and to express his hope for their continued cooperation and leadership," Obama's spokesman Robert Gibbs said in a statement. The president also offered former Northern Ireland peacemaker George Mitchell a position as his Middle East envoy, reports here said, adding that the envoy would be immediately sent to the region for consolidating a ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian militants. On Sunday, Israel and the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement of Hamas declared a cease-fire after 22 days of fighting in the Gaza Strip, where Palestinian medics said more than 1,300 people were killed by the Israeli troops.