Mohamed ElBaradei`s candidacy will be supported by Bush administration

The United States is ready to end its solitary campaign against &to=http:// ' target=_blank>Mohamed ElBaradei, who is flying to Washington to discuss his bid for a third term as head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog, U.S. and European officials said.

U.S. and European officials told Reuters that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will offer support for ElBaradei's candidacy as director-general of the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

"The U.S. will support ElBaradei but it wants some things in return," a European diplomat told Reuters, adding these issues involved Iran and the general fight against nuclear arms proliferation. The diplomat did not elaborate.

IAEA spokesman Mark Gwozdecky confirmed that ElBaradei had been invited to Washington but declined to give details, tells Reuters.

Within the administration, and also among Europeans and others involved in trying to influence the atomic energy agency, the end of the effort to oust Dr. ElBaradei was seen as a defeat for &to=http:// ' target=_blank>John R. Bolton, until recently the under secretary of state for arms control and international security and now the nominee to be United Nations ambassador.

Mr. Bolton had convinced his colleagues at the State Department and the White House that Dr. ElBaradei should be ousted, but administration officials said he had failed to win international backing or to persuade anyone with comparable credentials to step forward to replace him.

A senior administration official said that Mr. Bolton's efforts "never got enough altitude" and that more recently he had been involved in getting himself confirmed for the United Nations job, with no one else in the administration ready to step in and push what he started.

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