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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 February, 2005, 22:40 GMT
Clinton made UN's tsunami envoy
Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton has already taken a lead in appealing for tsunami aid
Former US President Bill Clinton has been chosen to be the UN's special envoy for tsunami relief in Asia.

Secretary General Kofi Annan selected him because of the "energy, dynamism and focus" he would bring to the job, a UN spokesman said.

Mr Annan wanted someone who could address conflicts in the tsunami zone, as well as the aid effort, he added.

Mr Clinton has already been asked by US President Bush to lead efforts to raise relief donations from Americans.

He and Mr Bush's father, former President George Bush senior, have been travelling the US to raise private funds.

Mr Clinton said he would continue his work with Mr Bush "to urge people to contribute to this cause, and the two of us hope to visit the region together later this month".

'Sustaining interest'

After that trip, the secretary general and Mr Clinton are expected to make a formal announcement about his appointment as special envoy.

The tsunami death toll continues to rise, with more than 200,000 people now thought to have died, the UN says.

"The secretary general is confident that President Clinton will bring energy, dynamism and focus to the task of sustaining world interest in the vital recovery and reconstruction phase following the tsunami disaster," Mr Annan's spokesman Fred Eckhard said in a statement.

"He believes that no-one could possibly be better qualified for this task."

Mr Eckhard told the Associated Press that Mr Annan wants to appoint a special envoy not only to focus on the clean-up and reconstruction, but to try to push for the resolution of conflicts in the two worst-hit countries, Indonesia and Sri Lanka.




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