Manley says not Afghan envoy candidate

Wed Feb 20, 2008 9:11am EST
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OTTAWA (Reuters) - Former Canadian deputy prime minister John Manley on Wednesday denied a newspaper report that said he was a candidate to be the United Nations' new "super envoy" for Afghanistan.

The Globe and Mail, citing unspecified sources, said Ottawa was floating Manley's name as a replacement for Britain's Paddy Ashdown, whose appointment was vetoed last month by President Hamid Karzai.

"All I would say is that I am not a candidate and I have not consented to my government advocating for me to take on this responsibility," Manley told Reuters.

Among the leading candidates for the post of envoy is Kai Eide, a Norwegian diplomat who is a Balkans expert.

Manley headed an independent panel which last month urged Ottawa to pull its military mission out of southern Afghanistan on schedule next year unless NATO committed an extra 1,000 troops to the region.

Ottawa accepted the panel's conclusions and is pressing the Alliance for more soldiers.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Renato Andrade)