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United States: Clinton Names Congressman to U.N. Post

Washington, 16 December 1996 (RFE/RL) - U.S. President Bill Clinton Friday named Congressman Bill Richardson (D-New Mexico) to serve as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.

Richardson, who was first elected to Congress in 1982, will succeed Czech-born Madeleine Albright in the United Nations post. The nomination has to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

Clinton announced the nomination of Richardson and several other appointments at a news conference. He praised Richardson, saying he has "undertaken the toughest and most delicate diplomatic efforts around the world, from North Korea to Iraq."

Clinton recalled that just this week Richardson was "huddled in a rebel chieftain's hut in Sudan, eating barbecued goat and negotiating the freedom of three hostages." The reference was to Richardson's effort in December to help win the release of three Red Cross workers held hostage by a rebel leader.

Richardson is Chief Deputy Whip, one of the highest ranking posts in the House of Representatives, the lower chamber in the U.S. Congress. In the past two years, Richardson has served as special envoy to Clinton on sensitive diplomatic missions.

Clinton also today decided to, among other things, ask Janet Reno to remain as Attorney General, a position roughly equal to that of justice minister, and named Bill Daley of Chicago to be commerce secretary.