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Last Updated: Sunday, 15 April 2007, 21:37 GMT 22:37 UK
Wolfowitz 'to stay' at World Bank
World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz at the press conference
Mr Wolfowitz has been under growing pressure to resign
The embattled World Bank President, Paul Wolfowitz, has indicated he does not plan to resign over a pay scandal.

Mr Wolfowitz told a news conference: "This is important work and I intend to continue it."

He has been under pressure to quit after admitting helping his partner win a promotion and pay rise.

He spoke after World Bank governments described the scandal as a matter of "great concern" but stopped short of asking him to step down.

The statement from the bank's 24-member policymaking Development Committee came after talks in Washington that were overshadowed by the controversy.

I believe in the mission of this organisation, and I believe that I can carry it out
Paul Wolfowitz

"The current situation is of great concern to all of us," the committee said.

"We have to ensure that the bank can effectively carry out its mandate and maintain its credibility and reputation as well as the motivation of the staff," the statement said.

The final decision on Mr Wolfowitz's future will be taken by the bank's board of governors.

The committee's statement said it supported the board's actions in looking into the matter and had asked it to continue its work.


At a news conference held shortly afterwards, Mr Wolfowitz was asked several times if he intended to resign.

"Look, I believe in the mission of this organisation, and I believe that I can carry it out. I've had many expressions of support," he said.

But he refused to be drawn further, saying that he would wait for the board to complete its work.

"I'm not going to pre-empt what they're doing by getting into discussion of it here."

Pay rise

The row concerns events that occurred shortly after Mr Wolfowitz assumed his position at the World Bank.

Shaha Riza
Ms Riza says she was forced to change jobs against her wishes

His girlfriend, Libyan-born Shaha Riza, was seconded from the World Bank to the US state department to avoid creating a conflict of interest.

There she received promotions and pay rises which the bank's staff association say were "grossly out of line" with bank rules.

The World Bank's executive board has said that it did not give its approval for Ms Riza's wage rise.

On Thursday, Mr Wolfowitz issued a statement apologising for the controversy. "I made a mistake, for which I am sorry," he said.

In recent days, although the US has continued to support Mr Wolfowitz, other nations have questioned his position, arguing that the controversy has damaged the bank.

World Bank staff have also called for his resignation.

A former deputy secretary of defence under George W Bush, Mr Wolfowitz was seen as a controversial nominee to the role from the beginning due to his part in driving forward the war in Iraq.

Mr Wolfowitz responds to reporters' questions

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