December 6, 2004
British Prime Minister Tony Blair gave his personal endorsement Monday to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, who has come under fire in the United States over the oil-for-food program in Iraq.
Parting company with U.S. President George W. Bush, who has conspicuously passed up chances to support Annan, Blair said.
“I believe Kofi Annan is doing a fine job as United Nations secretary general, often in very difficult circumstances,” Blair said at a news conference with Pakistani president, General Pervez Musharraf.
“I have had the occasion to be grateful for his (Annan’s) leadership on many occasions, and I very much hope that he is allowed to get on with his job . . . without criticism that I think, if people analyze it for a moment, they will see that it is unfair,” Blair said.
Blair’s government previously had joined with other European Union countries in expressing support for Annan. French President Jacques Chirac and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder each telephoned Annan on Thursday to express support.