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Rediff.com  » Business » Bush names Robert Zoellick as next World Bank chief

Bush names Robert Zoellick as next World Bank chief

May 31, 2007 03:44 IST
US President George W Bush on Wednesday nominated former Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick as the next World Bank head, replacing Paul Paul Wolfowitz, who was forced to resign over a favouritism scandal.

The formal announcement was made at the White House by the President who praised the former United States Trade Representative as a "committed internationalist" and a person "deeply committed" to the cause of defeating poverty.

"He is deeply devoted to the mission of the World Bank. He wants to help struggling nations defeat poverty, to grow their economies and offer their people the hope of a better life. Bob Zoellick is deeply committed to this cause" Bush said.

Zoellick will succeed Paul Wolfowitz, who is stepping down on June 30 after findings by a special bank panel that he broke bank rules when he arranged for a hefty compensation package in 2005 for his girlfriend, Shaha Riza, a bank employee.

Bush's selection of Zoellick must be approved by the World Bank's 24-member board. "Bob Zoellick understands that there are about one billion men, women and children who live on less than one dollar a day and he's committed to doing something about it.

The United States has a moral and national interest in helping poor and struggling countries transform themselves into free and hopeful societies, Bush said.

"The job of the World Bank is to help reduce poverty and raise living standards in the poorest nations. The bank does this by helping these nations strengthen good government, develop sound financial markets, uphold property rights and combat corruption" he said.
Sridhar Krishnaswami in Washington, DC
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