US Under Secretary of State Nicholas Burns has brushed aside the notion that he was personally against Shashi Tharoor, India's nominee for the post of UN Secretary General.
"We have the greatest respect for Shashi Tharoor. He is one of the distinguished civil servants at the United Nations, he is a man with great experience, great vision. He has distinguished himself in the current position and in prior ones. We felt that he ran a very fine race, and it was a very competitive race," the senior official told reporters on Friday.
He was asked to comment on reports in the media that he was personally against Tharoor's candidacy.
"We were in touch with him throughout and had excellent discussions with him and so we congratulate him on having run a very good race, he is a very fine person; he is a friend and I think we will continue to have an excellent relationship with him," Burns added.