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World Bank Chief Stands Firms Against Critics

Paul Wolfowitz speaking with reporters on April 15 (epa) April 16, 2007 -- World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz says he does not plan to resign, saying he believes he can still effectively lead the global poverty-fighting lending institution.

There have been calls for Wolfowitz to resign as head of the organization over his involvement in a high-paying job promotion that was given to a close female friend, who also works at the bank.

"I believe in the mission of this organization, and I believe that I can carry it out," Wolfowitz told journalists in Washington on April 15. "I've had many expressions of support."

Wolfowitz, who was the second-ranking official in the U.S. Defense Department before becoming World Bank head, declined further comment about the case, saying he did not want to interfere in a review of the matter being conducted by the World Bank's board of governors.

Shortly before Wolfowitz's comments, the World Bank's leading policy committee said the situation around Wolfowitz was of "great concern."

(compiled from agency reports)