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US Ambassador says Bush Administration Supports UN Secretary General

The United States' top U.N. diplomat says the Bush administration has confidence in Secretary-General Kofi Annan and intends to continue working with him. Ambassador John Danforth's comments came in response to calls from some conservative congressmen for the U.N. leader's resignation in the wake of the U.N. oil-for-food scandal.

Many world leaders have come out in defense of Mr. Annan since the calls for his resignation, which some diplomats believe has more to do with Mr. Annan's opposition to the U.S.-led war in Iraq than with the U.N. administration of the oil-for-food program.

Ambassador Danforth said the United States' desire for a thorough and objective investigation of the scandal has been mistakenly viewed as an effort to undermine Mr. Annan and force his resignation. "We have worked with him very well in the past. We anticipate working with him very well in the future for the time to come. There are some very important issues with which he is involved, which are significant. For example, the election in Iraq, the Palestinian election. He has been very personally engaged in the Sudan issue. We look forward to working with the Secretary General. No one to my knowledge has cast doubt on the personal integrity of the Secretary General. No one. And we certainly do not," he said.

Mr. Danforth, who is retiring as U.S. ambassador, said his comments reflect the consensus of the Bush administration.

Asked about Mr. Annan's son, Kojo, who is being investigated for his role working with a contractor for the oil-for-food program, Mr. Danforth said there are differences between parents and adult children.