John Bolton, the controversial and outspoken US ambassador
to the United Nations, will step down when his temporary appointment expires
Bolton was unable to continue in office after George Bush's
Republican party failed to take keep of the US congress in the recent
Bolton's nomination has languished in the senate foreign
relations committee for more than a year, blocked by Democrats and several
Critics have questioned Bolton's brusque style and whether
he could be an effective bureaucrat who could force reform at the UN.
George Bush, the US president, gave Bolton the job
temporarily in August 2005, while congress was in recess. Under that process,
the appointment expires when congress formally adjourns, no later than early
The White House re-submitted Bolton's nomination last month.
But with Democrats capturing control of the next congress, his chances of
winning confirmation appeared slight.
The incoming chairman of the senate foreign relations
committee, Democratic Senator Joe Biden, said he saw "no point in considering
Mr Bolton's nomination again".
While Bush could not give Bolton another recess appointment,
the White House was believed to be exploring other ways of keeping him in the
job, perhaps by giving him a title other than ambassador. But Bolton informed
the White House that he intended to leave when his current appointment
expires, Dana Perino, the White House deputy press secretary, said.
Bush planned to meet Bolton and his wife later on Monday at
the White House.
As late as last month, Bush, through his senior aides, said
he would not relent in his defence of Bolton, despite opposition from
Democrats who view Bolton as too combative for international diplomacy.
Perino said that among Bolton's accomplishments, he
assembled coalitions addressing North Korea's nuclear activity, Iran's uranium
enrichment and reprocessing work and the violence in Darfur. She said he also
made reform at the United Nations a priority because the US was searching for
a more "credible" and more "effective" United Nations.
"Despite the support of a strong bipartisan majority of
senators, Ambassdor Bolton's confirmation was blocked by a Democratic
filibuster, and this is a clear example of the breakdown in the senate
confirmation process," she said.
"Nominees deserve the opportunity for a clean up or down
vote. Ambassador Bolton was never given that opportunity."
Perino said Bush had reluctantly accepted Bolton's decision
to leave when his current appointment expires.
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