Washington, 8 November 1996 (RFE/RL) -- It is now official -- U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher is resigning from office.
President Bill Clinton made the announcement in Washington yesterday, putting an end to days of rumors and speculation about Christopher's pending departure.
Clinton thanked Christopher for his years of dedicated service, saying he was proud and privileged to have him by his side.
Clinton said it is largely because of Christopher that Bosnia's killing fields can now be playing fields, that children of the Middle East can imagine a future of cooperation not conflict, and that America is building a new partnership with a strong and open Russia.
Calling Christopher "America's elder statesman," and a man of quiet dignity masking a steely determination, Clinton said Christopher has made a real difference in the lives of people around the world and has earned America's admiration and gratitude.
He said Christopher has agreed to continue as U.S. Secretary of State until a successor takes over. That is expected to be in January.
Clinton said he will consult with Christopher on a replacement and that he wants to cast a wide net across a broad span of people to get the best people for his new Cabinet.
Clinton said he would hold a press conference today to announce other departures from his first-term cabinet.