The European Union threw its political weight behind beleaguered UN Secretary-General &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/world/2002/06/27/31251.html ' target=_blank>Kofi Annan on Friday, but the United States again refused to back him and a U.S. senator repeated his call for the UN chief to resign.
At issue is his role in an oil-for-food program that was started in 1996 to help Iraqis cope with UN sanctions imposed after &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/main/2002/04/08/27433.html ' target=_blank>Saddam Hussein's 1990 invasion of Kuwait. It allowed Hussein's government to sell unlimited quantities of oil provided most of the proceeds went to buy food, medicine and humanitarian goods and to compensate victims of the 1991 Gulf War, reports Newsday.
"Secretary-General Annan is a good secretary-general and the United States has tried to support him and the United Nations in every way that we can," Powell told Reuters.
It was the first positive comment from a top U.S. official since Sen. Norm Coleman, a Minnesota Republican investigating the oil-for-food program, said Annan should resign because of suspected abuses.