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Bush Meets with John Bolton, Accepts Resignation

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
December 4, 2006

President Bush Meets with United Nations Ambassador John Bolton
The Oval Office

3:49 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT: I received the resignation of Ambassador John Bolton. I accepted. I'm not happy about it. I think he deserved to be confirmed. And the reason why I think he deserved to be confirmed is because I know he did a fabulous job for the country.

And I want to thank you and Gretchen for serving in a very important position, and doing so in a way that a lot of Americans really appreciate, John. We're going to miss you in this administration. You've been a stalwart defender of freedom and peace. You've been strong in your advocacy for human rights and human dignity. You've done everything that can be expected for an Ambassador.

And I accept your letter, and I wish you and Gretchen all the very best.

AMBASSADOR BOLTON: Many thanks.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you.

END 3:50 P.M. EST


PRESS STATEMENT...

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
December 4, 2006

President Bush Accepts Ambassador John Bolton's Resignation as U.S. Representative to the United Nations


It is with deep regret that I accept John Bolton's decision to end his service in the Administration as Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations when his commission expires.

Over a year ago, I appointed Ambassador Bolton because I knew he would represent America's values and effectively confront difficult problems at the United Nations. He served his country with extraordinary dedication and skill, assembling coalitions that addressed some of the most consequential issues facing the international community. During his tenure, he articulately advocated the positions and values of the United States and advanced the expansion of democracy and liberty.

Ambassador Bolton led the successful negotiations that resulted in unanimous Security Council resolutions regarding North Korea's military and nuclear activities. He built consensus among our allies on the need for Iran to suspend the enrichment and reprocessing of uranium. His efforts to promote the cause of peace in Darfur resulted in a peacekeeping commitment by the United Nations. He made the case for United Nations reform because he cares about the institution, and wants it to become more credible and effective.

I am deeply disappointed that a handful of United States Senators prevented Ambassador Bolton from receiving the up or down vote he deserved in the Senate. They chose to obstruct his confirmation, even though he enjoys majority support in the Senate, and even though their tactics will disrupt our diplomatic work at a sensitive and important time. This stubborn obstructionism ill serves our country, and discourages men and women of talent from serving their Nation.

I thank John Bolton for the dedication and skill with which he performed his duties, and his wife Gretchen and daughter Jennifer Sarah for their support as Ambassador Bolton served his country. All Americans owe John Bolton their gratitude for a job well done.

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