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U.S. voices support for U.N. chief, Annan

Dec. 9, 2004 at 6:13 PM

UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 9 (UPI) -- After days of sidestepping the issue, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations John Danforth has voiced support for U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

While messages of support for Annan from leaders and countries around the world mounted as the Iraq oil-for food scandal unfolded, Washington remained largely silent except for Secretary of State Colin Powell's lukewarm endorsement last week.

Friday Danforth said: "We are not suggesting the resignation or pursuing the resignation of the secretary-general. We have worked with him very well in the past and we anticipate working with him very well in the future."

"No one to my knowledge has cast doubt on the personal integrity of the secretary-general. No one and we certainly don't," Danforth said.

Saying support also had been voiced by the White House and the State Department, Danforth added, "I also want to reiterate what we have said all the way along. That the investigation is important, that the investigation has to be comprehensive. All the evidence has to come out, there has to be full cooperation with the investigation by all parties."

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