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US ambassador to the UN lands key Obama role

Susan Rice withdrew from the Secretary of State contest in a letter in December. Credit: Reuters

Susan Rice, the US ambassador to the UN who pulled out of the race for Secretary of State for fear of "politicising" the process, has landed one of the key roles under Barack Obama.

She will be named the President's new national security adviser after Tom Donilon resigned the post, the Associated Press has reported, citing a source.

Ms Rice withdrew from the Secretary of State contest in a letter in December, fearing her nomination would be "lengthy, disruptive and costly". The role later went to John Kerry.

Ms Rice had angered opposition Republican senators with comments she made following the attack on the US consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi last September.

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US envoy: It is time for North Korea to change course

The UN Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice has tweeted about today's unanimous vote by Security Council members to approve new sanctions against North Korea:

North Korea sanctions are 'exceptional' in scope

The new sanctions against North Korea that have just been approved by the UN Security Council are "exceptional" in their breadth and scope, US envoy Susan Rice said on Tuesday.

She said the sanctions would target the "illicit activities of North Korean diplomatic personnel", "banking relationships" and "illicit transfers of bulk cash" in addition to "new travel restrictions".

US draft takes North Korea sanctions 'to the next level'

UN Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice Credit: APTN

US envoy to the United Nations, Susan Rice, has said that new sanctions against North Korea under consideration by the Security Council are "exceptional" in their breadth and scope.

She said the draft resolution tabled by the US "will significantly impede North Korea's ability to develop further its illicit nuclear and ballistic missile programmes".

She added that the sanctions would target the "illicit activities of North Korean diplomatic personnel", "banking relationships" and "illicit transfers of bulk cash" in addition to "new travel restrictions".

Clinton describes 'highly personal' work

As she began her testimony, her voice cracked at times as she said her work is sometimes highly personal, she told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee:

I stood next to President Obama as the Marines carried those flag-draped caskets off the plane at Andrews. I put my arms around the mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, sons and daughters.

At another point, she defended UN Ambassador Susan Rice, who was vilified for widely debunked claims five days after the attack that protests precipitated the raid rather than terrorism. She challenged the Republican focus on Rice's comments, which were based on intelligence talking points.

"What difference does it make?" a clearly exasperated Clinton told Sen. Ron Johnson, a Republican, after he pressed her. She insisted that "people were trying in real time to get to the best information," and that her focus was on looking ahead on how to improve security.

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Rice: 'I didn't want to be part of a politicised process'

Susan Rice speaking to NBC's Brian Williams on Rock Center Credit: NBC News

Susan Rice has said that it was the best thing for the American people that she step out of the race to be US Secretary of State.

Speaking to NBC's Brian Williams, she said:

"Today I made the decision that it was the best thing for our country, for the American people, that I not continue to be considered by the President for nomination for secretary of state.

"I didn't want to see a confirmation process that was very prolonged, very politicised and very disruptive, because there are so many things we need to get done as a country."

Watch the full interview on NBCNews.com.

Rice: 'It is the right step for this country I love'

U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice has written about her reasons for withdrawing from the race for Secretary of State, saying "it is the right step for this country I love.

Writing for the Washington Post, Rice said:

I made this decision because it is the right step for this country I love. I have never shied away from a fight for a cause I believe in.

But, as it became clear that my potential nomination would spark an enduring partisan battle, I concluded that it would be wrong to allow this debate to continue distracting from urgent national priorities — creating jobs, growing our economy, addressing our deficit, reforming our immigration system and protecting our national security.

– Susan Rice

Kerry: 'Susan rice is an extraordinarily capable public servant'

Senator John Kerry has commented on the news that Susan Rice has quit the race to be US Secretary of State, saying that "she's an extraordinarily capable and dedicated public servant."

In a written statement, Senator Kerry significantly praised Rice, saying.

I've known and worked closely with Susan Rice not just at the UN, but in my own campaign for President.

I've defended her publicly and wouldn't hesitate to do so again because I know her character and I know her commitment.

She's an extraordinarily capable and dedicated public servant. Today's announcement doesn't change any of that.

We should all be grateful that she will continue to serve and contribute at the highest level.

– Senator John Kerry

Benghazi concerns go beyond Rice, says senator

Senator Kelly Ayotte has said that she still has concerns regarding a terrorist attack in Benghazi which was widely thought to damage Susan Rice's reputation after incorrect information was released.

Senator Ayotte has been critical of Rice in the past, she said:

I respect Susan Rice's decision and appreciate her commitment to public service.

However, my concerns regarding the terrorist attack in Benghazi go beyond any one individual.

I remain deeply troubled by the continued lack of information from the White House and the State Department.

With four of our public servants murdered, it is critical that we get to the bottom of what happened.

– Senator Kelly Ayotte
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