LUSAKA, June 10 U.S. Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton on Friday said she was not in discussions over the top
job at the World Bank and that she was not pursing the post.
Clinton is in Zambia as part of a five-day Africa trip that
is being overshadowed by news that she had expressed interest
in moving to head the World Bank.
"I have had no discussions with anyone, I have evidenced no
interest to anyone and I am not pursuing that position,"
Clinton told reporters.
According to sources close to Clinton and the Obama
administration, she expressed interest in moving to the World
Bank when current World Bank President Robert Zoellick's term
ends in mid-2012.
Both the White House and State Department on Thursday
denied the Reuters report, which cited three sources familiar
with the discussions. Told of the official denials, the sources
said the story remains accurate.
Revelations about Clinton as a potential Bank nominee are
sensitive because they come during a period of significant
foreign policy challenges for the Obama administration.
It also infuriates emerging market economies, which are
clamoring for greater influence in global institutions and see
discussions such as these as proof that the jobs are determined
One source said the report of Clinton's interest had come
at a difficult time for the administration, which had just
started to consider the issue of who should succeed Zoellick.
Clinton's name was discussed as part of a strategy still
under development, according to a source who had knowledge of
Zoellick has not revealed his future plans or whether he
has an interest in a second term at the bank, which provides
billions of dollars in loans and grants to developing
Under normal circumstances, the names of potential
candidates for the World Bank would surface only months before
the post becomes vacant. But the timing of the discussions is
not unusual this year given the sudden opening of the top job
at the bank's sister institution, the IMF.
By tradition, the World Bank has always been headed by an
American and the IMF by a European.
(Editing by Will Dunham)