The United States holds India's candidate for the United Nations' secretary-general post Shashi Tharoor in greatest regard, but has not made any decision on who it would support to succeed Kofi Annan.
"Our administration has not yet made a decision on whom we will support to succeed Secretary General Kofi Annan. But we certainly hold Shashi Tharoor in greatest regard and I look forward to meeting him in my office," Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns said on Wednesday.
"I don't think President [George W] Bush will make this decision until much further into the process" he said.
Burns declined to comment on whether Tharoor being a UN 'insider' is unfair to other candidates."I don't want to make any specific comment because that would not be fair to all the other candidates out there. This is a decision President Bush will make. It is too early for us to make a commitment but we certainly respect Tharoor and I look forward to meeting him in a couple of weeks " Burns said.