November 7, 1996 in Nation/World

Re-Election Doesn’t Change Situation For Boutros-Ghali, Ambassador Says Clinton Will Try To Block Second Term For U.N. Secretary-General

Associated Press

The United States made clear Wednesday that it still hopes to block U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali from getting what President Clinton just did - re-election to a second term.

“We want a new leader to the United Nations,” U.S. Ambassador Madeleine Albright told reporters, saying Clinton’s re-election Tuesday hadn’t changed the U.S. position.

Washington has long threatened to use its U.N. Security Council position to veto the Egyptian diplomat’s re-election over what it sees as his resistance to reforming the United Nations.

U.N. spokesman Sylvana Foa said Boutros-Ghali had sent Clinton a letter of congratulations, telling him of his “sincere hope that the United States and the United Nations can work together in the period ahead to further world peace and prosperity.”

When asked if the secretary-general was reconsidering his position, Foa said Boutros-Ghali was “considering the situation in eastern Zaire, which really is dominating all his thoughts.”

Fighting in that area between Tutsi rebels and Zairian troops has scattered more than a million refugees and threatened regional stability.

Many U.N. diplomats believed that Washington announced its opposition to Boutros-Ghali in hopes of preventing Republican challenger Bob Dole, a strident critic of the current secretary-general, from making the United Nations a campaign issue.

But Albright has failed to organize opposition to Boutros-Ghali, whose term expires Dec. 31.

Instead, France, Russia and China have lined up behind him, citing his endorsement by African countries. The 15-member council rebuffed Albright’s request to begin consultations before the U.S. election, apparently hoping Clinton would change his mind if he won.

The council begins discussions on Boutros-Ghali on Friday.

© Copyright 1996 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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