Bush accepts UN Ambassador Bolton's resignation

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Deutsche Presse Agentur/RAW STORY
Published: Monday December 4, 2006

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President Bush has accepted the resignation of United Nations Ambassador John Bolton when his recess appointment expires on January 6.

"White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said President Bush was 'surprised' when Bolton submitted his letter of resignation on Friday and that the president 'reluctantly accepted' it," reports CNN White House Correspondent Suzanne Malveaux.

"Despite the support of a strong bipartisan majority of senators, Ambassador Bolton's confirmation was blocked by a Democrat filibuster, and this is a clear example of the breakdown in the Senate confirmation process," Perino said.

In a statement released by the White Bush, President Bush said he was "deeply disappointed" that some Senators "chose to obstruct" Bolton's confirmation.

"I am deeply disappointed that a handful of United States Senators prevented Ambassador Bolton from receiving the up or down vote he deserved in the Senate," Bush said in the statement. "They chose to obstruct his confirmation, even though he enjoys majority support in the Senate, and even though their tactics will disrupt our diplomatic work at a sensitive and important time."

"This stubborn obstructionism ill serves our country, and discourages men and women of talent from serving their Nation," Bush added.

Bush and Bolton are set to appear together at a press conference scheduled for 3 PM EST.

Just two weeks ago, Bolton said that he expected to be confirmed by the Senate, but Republican Senator Lincoln Chaffee of Rhode Island declined to support his nomination.

An outspoken UN critic and a prominent conservative, Bolton was named by President George W Bush in August 2005 in what was billed as a US push for reform at the world body.

Bush used his presidential powers to appoint Bolton, 58, during a summer recess of Congress, avoiding what would have been a heated confirmation battle in the US Senate.

The appointment runs out in January, when the next session of Congress begins. Any chances that Bush's choice might win confirmation evaporated when the opposition centre-left Democrats - critical of Bolton's style and substance - won control of both houses of the legislature in elections last month.

It was not immediately clear who would replace Bolton, formerly the US State Department's top arms control official.