Ex-UN chief attacks Clinton

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The Independent Online
THE BITTERNESS that was left behind by the ousting of Boutros Boutros-Ghali from his post as United Nations secretary-general in 1996 by the Clinton administration - by convention, he should have been offered a second term - has come spilling out in a new book.

Written by Mr Boutros-Ghali himself, the work, Unvanquished: a US-UN Saga, drips with disdain for those he considers to have been primarily responsible for his premature demise - President Bill Clinton, and, above all, the United States Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright.

He writes that Ms Albright, who was then US ambassador to the UN, campaigned for his removal "with determination, letting pass no opportunity to demolish my authority and tarnish my image all the while showing a serene face, wearing a friendly smile and repeating expressions of friendship".

He chastises Mr Clinton for his "mocking pronunciation of my name - Boo-trus, Boo-trus - sounding like a jeering mob". He accuses the President, who was himself fighting for re-election that year, of deliberately winding up audiences by claiming that US troops abroad were serving under his - Mr Boutrous-Ghali's - command.

He hints that he was naive in not understanding the depth of Ms Albright's conviction that he should leave. He recalls Joseph Verner Reed, a US diplomat who was serving in his office at the time, reporting overhearing her telling a colleague: "I will make Boutros think I am his friend; then I will break his legs." He dismissed the message at the time as "ludicrous".

Reacting to the book, published in the US by Random House, Jamie Rubin, who was then and remains spokesman for Ms Albright, said Mr Boutros-Ghali lost his job because he failed to manage properly the relationship between the UN and Washington. "It led to his downfall, so it is not surprising that he is bitter," he said.

Mr Boutros-Ghali was replaced by the current Secretary-General, Kofi Annan.