WASHINGTON - The US Senate overwhelmingly confirmed Nikki Haley, the South Carolina governor with little foreign affairs experience, as President Trump’s choice for American ambassador to the United Nations. Haley, who is of Indian ancestry, has received more favourable votes than other Trump nominees now tangled in confirmation battles. The vote was 96 to 4. The two-term Republican governor has split with Trump on key foreign policy issues, particularly her skepticism of Russia. But Haley agrees with the president’s goal of relocating the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem — a controversial move that violates United Nations resolutions.

Born as Nimrata Randhawa to Sikh parents who migrated from Indian Punjab, Haley created history by becoming the first woman to occupy the governor’s mansion of South Carolina.

 She has since converted to Christianity, but occasionally goes to Sikh services at her parents’ request. Haley, 44, is married to Michael Haley, an officer in US defence department.

During her confirmation hearing, she testified that she hopes to influence Trump on “the importance of alliances (and) that the UN matters.”

At home, her leadership in removing the Confederate flag from the state Capitol after the 2015 mass shooting at an African American church in Charleston was largely received as a step toward racial healing.