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Tufts University professor confirmed as Mexico's ambassador to U.S.

In this undated photo, released by Miguel Miguel Basáñez, Miguel Basáñez poses for a portrait in Mexico City. It was announced Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2015 that the U.S.-based Mexican academic has been named as its new ambassador to Washington, filling a key diplomatic post that has been vacant for five months. (Miguel Miguel Basáñez via AP)

In this undated photo, released by Miguel Miguel Basáñez, Miguel Basáñez poses for a portrait in Mexico City. It was announced Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2015 that the U.S.-based Mexican academic has been named as its new ambassador to Washington, filling a key diplomatic post that has been vacant for five months. (Miguel Miguel Basáñez via AP)

Mexican lawmakers have confirmed a U.S.-based Mexican academic as the country's next ambassador to the United States.

The 98-3 vote in the Senate means Miguel Basáñez becomes Mexico's top envoy to its northern neighbor and main trade partner.

Arguably Mexico's most important diplomatic post, the office of ambassador to Washington had been vacant for five months before President Enrique Peña Nieto nominated Basáñez in mid-August.

Basáñez is an expert on opinion polling and adjunct professor at Tufts University's Fletcher School. He was sworn in Wednesday at the Senate.

About 11.4 million Mexican-born people live in the United States while some 1 million American citizens reside in Mexico, according to the Foreign Relations Department.

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