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US ambassador to the UN John Bolton resigns

Written by: Staff

Washington, Dec 5: US Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton has resigned.

The resignation was being described as a casualty of the Republican Party's defeat in the November 7 elections.

President Bush accepted Mr Bolton's resignation immediately after he submitted it yesterday ''with deep regret.'' The appointment was subject to the confirmation of by the US Senate, now under the control of the Democratic Party which has accused the Ambassador of being a bully and of pressuring subordinates to align their views with him.

Mr Bolton's temporary appointment last year had allowed him to bypass the Senate confirmation process.

Commending the role played by Mr Bolton, the White House, in a statement said, the President credited Mr Bolton with leading negotiations in the UN Security Council that resulted in unanimous resolutions on North Korean military and nuclear activities, a resolution calling on Iran to suspend the enrichment and reprocessing of uranium, and a UN peacekeeping commitment to Sudan.

He was appointed to the post in August 2005 during a period when the Senate, which normally would vote on the nomination, was in recess. Under the US Constitution, a president may make temporary recess appointments without Senate confirmation.

The President renominated him on November 9, but administration officials believed that his nomination did not have enough support in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to come to the full Senate for a confirmation vote.

President Bush said some senators were practicing ''stubborn obstructionism'' by ''obstructing his confirmation'' despite Mr Bolton having the support of the majority of the Senate.

''Their tactics will disrupt our diplomatic work at a sensitive and important time,'' President Bush said.

White House Press Secretary Tony Snow blamed Bolton's difficulties in the Senate on ''partisanship and not performance,'' adding, ''for whatever reason the confirmation process seems to be broken.'' The exact date of Mr Bolton's departure has not been announced and under the US law, he can continue to serve until the 110th Congress convenes in January 2007.

Until Bolton's successor is confirmed, Alejandro Wolff, the deputy US representative to the United Nations, is expected to serve as acting US ambassador to the United Nations.

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan commended Bolton for doing ''the job he was expected to do.''


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