Official says US State Department's third-ranking diplomat resigning

The State Department's third-highest-ranking diplomat, Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns, is resigning, a senior US official said Friday. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice planned to appear at a ceremony with Burns Friday morning to announce his departure, as well as a possible replacement, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the formal announcement had not been made. Burns, a career diplomat, has led the Bush administration's diplomatic efforts to impose new UN sanctions on Iran and has tried to negotiate a controversial nuclear deal with India.