Washington, DC – Congressman Tom Lantos (D-CA), chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today congratulated Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns on an exceptional foreign service career. After 26 years at the State Department, Burns announced his retirement today. Chairman Lantos issued the following statement:

“Nicholas Burns is among this country’s finest public servants. He has worked on behalf of all Americans with extraordinary distinction in a wide range of important diplomatic posts, including as our ambassador to NATO, our ambassador to Greece and a distinguished spokesperson for the Department of State. We have been truly fortunate to have him representing the United States in so many important arenas, and have benefited from his tireless efforts to help reduce conflict around the globe for more than two decades. And most recently, he has brought the full range of his unique capabilities to his key role at Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s side.

“Undersecretary Burns has been instrumental in bringing the U.S.-India nuclear cooperation agreement to fruition, and thereby opening a new era in U.S.-India friendship and cooperation. It is no exaggeration to say that without his indefatigable efforts, this agreement would not be possible.”

“I am pleased to note as well that Nick Burns and I have enjoyed a fruitful working relationship for many years, and I always looked forward to his testimony before our committee. He is exceptionally knowledgeable and dedicated. I have nothing but the deepest respect for him and his work. I offer Undersecretary Burns my sincere thanks for a job well done, and wish him well in the next phase of his career.”