U.S. Secretary of State nominee Condoleezza Rice is facing a second and final day of confirmation hearings Wednesday, after a first day that focused heavily on Iraq and repairing alliances strained by the conflict.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is expected to question Ms. Rice for several more hours Wednesday before voting on her nomination to succeed Secretary of State Colin Powell. A full Senate vote is expected Thursday.
Ms. Rice spent more than nine hours testifying Tuesday, handling tough questions about the direction of the war on terror and the Bush administration's decision to invade Iraq. She steadfastly maintained that she believes progress is being made in Iraq, but she declined to give a timetable for the return home of U.S. troops.
She said President Bush's foreign policy goals in the next four years include "spreading freedom and democracy" around the globe, as well as alliance building.