The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
December 21, 2007

Statement by the Press Secretary

Today, Andrew Natsios announced that he has resigned his position as Presidential Special Envoy to Sudan. The President is grateful for Andrew's service to the Administration and for his dedication to the cause of peace in Sudan. Since his appointment to this post in September 2006, Andrew has undertaken frequent trips to the region and around the world to advance the President's goal of ending the violence in Darfur and ensuring the effective implementation of all elements of Sudan's Comprehensive Peace Agreement. He has served admirably in this position.

The President also appreciates Andrew's previous service as Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development. As Andrew returns to serve as a member of the faculty of the Edmund Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, the President wishes the Natsios family all the best.

The President is pleased to announce that Ambassador Richard "Rich" Williamson, a practicing partner in the law office of Winston and Strawn and a former United States Ambassador to the UN, has agreed to serve as his new Special Envoy to Sudan. Ambassador Williamson brings a wealth of experience in the public and private sectors to the role of Special Envoy. Earlier in this Administration, he served as Ambassador to the United Nations for Special Political Affairs and Ambassador to the UN Commission on Human Rights. He also served in senior foreign policy positions under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. In addition to his law practice, Ambassador Williamson serves on the Board of Directors of the International Republican Institute, on the Advisory Committee for the International Human Rights Center at DePaul University, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

The United States continues to lead international efforts to deploy a large and effective peacekeeping force to Darfur, and implement the North-South peace agreement, while providing for the humanitarian needs of conflict-affected populations across Sudan. The President remains thankful to Andrew Natsios for his extraordinary efforts towards achieving these goals and is deeply grateful for Ambassador Williamson's willingness to help work for peace throughout Sudan.

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