The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
January 18, 2008

Statement on Resignation of Ambassador Nicholas Burns

Today, Ambassador Nicholas Burns announced that he will resign in March as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs.

President Bush is grateful for Under Secretary Nick Burns' distinguished service to our Nation. As a career Member of the Senior Foreign Service for over two decades, Under Secretary Burns has worked tirelessly to help build a more democratic, secure and prosperous world. In his current role, he has been at the forefront on key foreign policy issues for this Administration, including leading the P5+1 discussions on Iran, the U.S.-Israel Strategic Dialogue, and negotiations on the civil nuclear cooperation agreement with India. President Bush has valued Under Secretary Burns' sound advice and his strong commitment to advancing America's interests across the globe.

The President also appreciates Under Secretary Burn's previous service as Ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Ambassador to Greece, and for five years as an Advisor on Russian Affairs at the National Security Council beginning under President George H.W. Bush. He is pleased that Under Secretary Burns will continue to serve in an advisory capacity as the United States continues to make progress on the historic civilian nuclear agreement with India. President Bush wishes Nick, his wife Libby and their three daughters all the best.

Today, President Bush is pleased to announce his intention to nominate Ambassador William J. Burns, a career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, to serve as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs. In his current role as Ambassador to Russia, Bill Burns has worked actively and successfully to advance a full range of important initiatives on the U.S. - Russia agenda. President Bush has every confidence that Ambassador Burns will approach his new duties with the same energy that he has demonstrated in Moscow and throughout his long and effective diplomatic career.

Earlier in this Administration, Ambassador Burns served as Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs. Since joining the Foreign Service in 1982, he has also served as Ambassador to Jordan and Senior Director for Near East and South Asian Affairs at the National Security Council.

President Bush is thankful for Under Secretary Nick Burns' service and pleased that Ambassador Bill Burns will continue to help achieve America's important foreign policy goals.

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