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U.S. Expresses Confidence In Annan, Despite Probe

Kofi Annan (file photo) United Nations, 9 December 2004 (RFE/RL) -- The U.S. government has given a clear signal of support for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan while continuing to insist on a thorough investigation of abuses of the oil-for-food program in Iraq.

U.S. ambassador to the UN John Danforth told reporters today that Washington wished to clarify its position on Annan following calls for his resignation from a U.S. senator heading an inquiry into the humanitarian program in Iraq.

"We are not suggesting the resignation or pushing for the resignation of the secretary-general," he said. "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."

Danforth said Annan is playing an important role in key issues such as next month's planned elections in Iraq, Palestinian elections, and attempts to resolve the conflict in Sudan.

His statement follows a series of statements from world leaders expressing confidence in Annan. In the UN General Assembly yesterday, diplomats gave a prolonged standing ovation to Annan after an address on UN reform.