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Deputy Secretary of State Zoellick quits

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060619/pl_nm/bush_zoellick_dc_7 Deputy Secretary of State Zoellick quits By Sue Pleming and Saul Hudson Mon Jun 19, 11:55 AM ET
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 19, 2006
      http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060619/pl_nm/bush_zoellick_dc_7

      Deputy Secretary of State Zoellick quits

      By Sue Pleming and Saul Hudson Mon Jun 19, 11:55 AM ET

      WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Deputy Secretary of State
      Robert Zoellick on Monday announced his resignation to
      join investment house Goldman Sachs, after focusing on
      China and Sudan in the No. 2 job at the department.

      Zoellick, a former U.S. Trade Representative before
      moving to the State Department in February 2005, had
      been tipped as a candidate for treasury secretary but
      he was passed over for the job which went to Goldman
      Sachs chairman Henry "Hank" Paulson.

      With Zoellick at her side, U.S. Secretary of State
      Condoleezza Rice paid tribute to her outgoing deputy
      as a strategist and an intellectual leader.

      She did not announce a replacement for Zoellick when
      he leaves next month, and State Department officials
      said it was undecided whether his successor would be
      the point person on China and Sudan.

      Last month, Zoellick played a pivotal role in getting
      the main rebel groups in Sudan's western Darfur region
      to sign a peace agreement after talks had dragged on
      for years. He had made several trips to the region.

      Darfur activists voiced concern that his successor
      might not devote as much time to the issue and they
      urged the Bush administration to appoint a special
      envoy for the region.

      "More than anyone else he (Zoellick) has moved this
      forward and come up with tangible results. It is a
      matter of concern when one of the administration's
      point people decides to leave," said Alex Meixner,
      policy director for the Save Darfur Coalition, an
      alliance of groups that raises public awareness about
      Darfur.

      A candidate to succeed Zoellick has not yet been
      identified but Rice's top aid official, Randall
      Tobias, could be among those on a short list, said one
      official.

      "Bob has been greater than ever, whenever we have
      faced challenges," Rice said of Zoellick, adding that
      he was willing to "get up his courage and roll up his
      sleeves and even occasionally hug a panda."

      Zoellick has a reputation as a demanding detail man,
      and can appear stiff in public, but he has been teased
      in the Bush administration for a widely published
      photograph of him holding a baby panda in China.

      For several months, Zoellick has been speaking to Wall
      Street firms about a position. He said he would join
      the world's top investment bank, Goldman Sachs.

      CHINA FOCUS

      A spokesman for Goldman Sachs declined to provide more
      detail about Zoellick's new job.

      Several sources said recently it had been hard for
      Zoellick to accept his second-term appointment to a
      No. 2 post, even though it was for a State Department
      job with considerable independence.

      "I have accomplished what I set out to do and it is
      time for me to step down," Zoellick said.

      Before joining the State Department, Zoellick was U.S.
      Trade Representative from 2001, where he completed
      negotiations to bring China and Taiwan into the
      World Trade Organization.

      Much of his focus at the State Department was on
      China, whose military build-up and growing economic
      muscle has strained ties between the two superpowers.

      "I was pleased, in particular, to assist in reframing
      the U.S. approach toward China, because that
      relationship will be vital for America and the world,"
      Zoellick said in his June 15 resignation letter to
      President George W. Bush.
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