John Bolton, having announced his retirement as U.N. ambassador, didn’t get much love Monday, particularly from his colleagues at the United Nations. One Security Council member, speaking anonymously, had this to say about the notoriously cranky diplomat: “People here are not against the United States, but I think the United States lost a lot of things because of Bolton’s tactics.”

Bolton did, however, receive praise from the Chinese and Russian ambassadors for, of all things, his dedication to promptness.

New York Times:

The announcement [Monday] of John R. Bolton’s imminent departure was greeted by United Nations officials with relief and by diplomats with mixed assessments of his effectiveness during his 17 months as the United States ambassador.

“No comment, he said with a smile,” Mark Malloch Brown, the deputy secretary general, said over his shoulder to reporters who pursued him as he hustled through the corridors of U.N. headquarters on his way to a meeting.

Mr. Malloch Brown angered Mr. Bolton this summer by accusing the United States of “stealth diplomacy” — turning to the United Nations when Washington needed it, while continuing to publicly disdain the institution’s value and to encourage its harshest detractors.

At the time, Mr. Bolton demanded a personal apology from Secretary General Kofi Annan, but did not get it.

Mr. Bolton’s relationship with Mr. Annan was also marked by testiness. He repeatedly ducked opportunities offered by reporters to praise or commend Mr. Annan, usually by changing the subject or by saying, as he did on one such occasion last month, “I’ll pass.”

A year ago, Mr. Annan startled Security Council ambassadors at one of their monthly luncheons by chastising Mr. Bolton for trying to “intimidate” him.


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