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Bolton resigns as US ambassador to UN

[JURIST] breaking story Wire services are reporting that US Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton [official website; JURIST news archive] has resigned, effective at the end of his recess appointment. President Bush named Bolton to the position [JURIST report] on an interim basis last year through a recess appointment [CRS backgrounder, PDF] that will expire when the new congressional session begins in January. A September vote in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on whether to confirm Bolton's nomination as the permanent US ambassador to the UN was delayed [JURIST report] in what the Bush administration called a "political" block [JURIST report] due to old grievances, not his performance as ambassador.

Bolton's nomination to the position in 2005 was stalled on the Senate floor after the Foreign Relations Committee declined to endorse the nomination [JURIST reports]. Senate Democrats at the time said Bolton "lacked credibility" [JURIST report] due to accusations that he took advantage of intelligence analysts through his role as the head US diplomat for arms control and Bolton's inaccurate statements [JURIST report] on a confirmation process questionnaire.

10:35 AM ET - In a statement Monday, Bush praised Bolton for "articulately advocat[ing] the positions and values of the United States and advanc[ing] the expansion of democracy and liberty." Bush also said:

Ambassador Bolton led the successful negotiations that resulted in unanimous Security Council resolutions regarding North Korea's military and nuclear activities. He built consensus among our allies on the need for Iran to suspend the enrichment and reprocessing of uranium. His efforts to promote the cause of peace in Darfur resulted in a peacekeeping commitment by the United Nations. He made the case for United Nations reform because he cares about the institution, and wants it to become more credible and effective.

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. 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.
Read Bush's full statement.

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