One day after the United States Ambassador to the United Nations John Danforth gave his full backing to Secretary-General Kofi Annan - who had heard calls for his resignation from certain quarters in that country - a UN spokesman hailed the support.
Responding to press questions, Fred Eckhard noted that the Secretary-General has had a long record of working together with the US and planned to build on this collaboration on a wide range of concerns, notably Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan and UN reform.
Mr. Eckhard noted that Ambassador Danforth indicated yesterday that he was speaking on behalf of the US State Department and the White House. "We saw it as an official expression of US Government policy," he said.
In response to another question, the Spokesman said that Mr. Annan had not asked for the statement, and the UN was unaware that it would be made until the last minute.