After consistently backing World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz as he faced calls to step down, the United States has now indicated an openness to discuss “all options” for the organization’s leadership. White House spokesman Tony Snow stated that the U.S. is in favor of “a resolution of the question of what is best for the future of the institution,” but stressed the need to separate Wolfowitz’s capacity to lead the bank from the Riza promotion controversy, asserting that his mistake was “not a firing offense”. The U.S., at a conference call meant to win support for the former U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary from the Group of Seven industrial countries – the bank’s biggest donors – only found an ally in Japan. Officials declined to predict the board’s decision, stating that members could still be influenced by U.S. diplomatic efforts in Wolfowitz’s favor. German Development Minister Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul, however, reiterated the importance of a quick resolution: “All of us development ministers want the integrity and the credibility of the bank to be maintained and reinstated.”

Sources:
Support for Wolfowitz Weakens (The Wall Street Journal)
United States fails to rally allies over Wolfowitz (Reuters)
U.S. fights for Wolfowitz to stay at World Bank (Reuters)

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