WASHINGTON — Zalmay Khalilzad, who was announced this week as leaving as U.S. ambassador to Iraq, is the leading prospect to replace John Bolton as envoy to the United Nations.
President Bush was reported by aides as looking for someone who approximates Bolton’s combination of toughness and diplomatic skill and has tentatively decided on Khalilzad. A native of Afghanistan, he has served in government posts dating back to 1985 and is the highest-ranking Muslim in the Bush administration.
A footnote: State Department sources have said Andrew Card, who on April 14 finished five years as White House chief of staff, was interested in the UN post and was a dark horse to get it. However, he never made any such desire known to the president and is not being considered for the UN.