UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 8 (UPI) -- U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton gave an emotional homage to former Ambassador Jeanne Kirkpatrick, just hours after her death was announced.
Speaking to reporters Friday at U.N. World Headquarters in New York, Bolton called Kirkpatrick a "great American" and noted the two had occupied adjacent offices when both served at the American Enterprise Institute, the conservative think tank in Washington.
"She was a great American. She was a great ambassador for the United States here," Bolton said. "She never forgot who she was representing."
Bolton's voice broke as he described how closely he had worked with her in the past.
Kirkpatrick was a strong defender of Bolton last year when President George W. Bush nominated him for the post of U.N. ambassador, calling him "one of the smartest people I've ever encountered in Washington."
Bolton was given a recess appointment after it became clear his nomination would be blocked by critics who called his approach brazen and undiplomatic. Bush again submitted Bolton's nomination this fall, but after the Democratic Party won control of the Senate in the midterm elections, and Bolton's chances of winning confirmation were all but erased, the ambassador announced he would leave federal service when his appointment expires at the close of the current congressional session.
Earlier in the day, Bolton asked that a moment of silence be observed in Kirkpatrick's honor at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations.
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan also paid tribute to Kirkpatrick, saying in a statement she was "always ardent and often provocative" as well as committed to an effective United Nations.