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U.S. Secretary Of State Powell Announces Resignation

16 November 2004 -- U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell has announced his resignation.

Speaking at a State Department briefing yesterday, the 67-year-old Powell said it was always his intention to serve one term.

"It has always been my intention that I would serve one term, and after we [Powell and U.S. President George W. Bush] had had a chance to have good and fulsome discussions on it, we came to a mutual agreement that it would be appropriate for me to leave at this time. Now, I am not leaving today. I just offered my resignation and I expect to act fully as secretary of state until the day that I do leave."

Powell said he will stay in his post until a successor is named. Bush praised Powell as "one of the great public servants of our time."

According to senior administration officials, Bush plans to nominate national security adviser Condoleezza Rice to succeed Powell.

Powell's resignation was announced along with three other cabinet members, bringing to six the number of people that will leave the 15-member cabinet.

Tributes to Powell came in from around the world. British Prime Minister Tony Blair called Powell "a good friend of Britain."

(international agencies)