Susan Rice withdraws from race of US Secretary of State
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Republican Senators have been speaking her on the statement she gave to television networks that that the attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi on September 11, resulting in the death of the US Ambassador to Libya, and two other US nationals was a result of an "instant mob violence" and not a terrorist attack.
The United States has since determined that this was a terrorist attack. Obama has defended Rice in public and expressed his outrage at the Republican Senators attacking his top diplomat.
"I am grateful, as always, for your unwavering confidence in me and, especially, for your extraordinary personal support during these past several weeks," Rice said in the letter acknowledging Obama coming to her defence.
On her letter, Rice said that the office of the Secretary of State should not be politicised.
"The position of Secretary of State should never be politicised. As someone who grew up in an era of comparative bipartisanship and as a sitting US national security official who has served in two US Administration, I am saddened that we have reached this point, even before you have decided whom to nominate. We cannot afford such an irresponsible distraction from the most pressing issues facing the American people," Rice said.
Praising Rice, Obama said for two decades, she has proven to be an extraordinarily capable, patriotic, and passionate public servant.
"As my Ambassador to the United Nations, she plays an indispensable role in advancing America's interests. Already, she has secured international support for sanctions against Iran and North Korea, worked to protect the people of Libya, helped achieve an independent South Sudan, stood up for Israel's security and legitimacy, and served as an advocate for UN reform and the human rights of all people," he said.
The US president hoped that Rice will continue to serve as the country's Ambassador to the United Nations and a key member of the cabinet and national security team, carrying her work forward on all of these and other issues.