U.N. rejects U.S. demand for retraction

June 7, 2006 at 5:31 PM
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UNITED NATIONS, June 7 (UPI) -- U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has rejected a call by U.S. Ambassador John Bolton to repudiate strong words his deputy pointed towards the United States.

Bolton Wednesday said of Deputy Secretary-General Mark Malloch Brown's remarks, "This is a very, very grave mistake."

Bolton said he told Annan, "I've known you since 1989 and I'm telling you this is the worst mistake by a senior U.N. official that I've seen in that entire time. That's why the only hope ... is that the secretary-general comes to the rescue of the organization and repudiates the speech."

Annan's spokesman later said, "The secretary-general stands by the deputy secretary-general and agrees with the thrust of the speech. This is not a criticism of the United States, it is a call for greater U.S. involvement in the United Nations."

Malloch Brown Tuesday told a conference on global leadership: "The prevailing practice of seeking to use the United Nations almost by stealth as a diplomatic tool while failing to stand up for it against its domestic critics is simply not sustainable. You will lose the United Nations one way or another."

Malloch Brown called his remarks "a warning about the serious consequences of a decades-long tendency by U.S. administrations of both parties to engage only fitfully with the United Nations."

He said, "The United States is constructively engaged with the United Nations. But that is not well known or understood, in part because much of the public discourse that reaches the U.S. heartland has been largely abandoned to its loudest detractors such as (radio talk show host) Rush Limbaugh and Fox News. That is what is meant by "stealth diplomacy."

Malloch Brown said he wasn't criticizing, just seeking engagement.

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