The US holds India's nominee for UN Secretary General's post Shashi Tharoor in "greatest regard", but has not made any decision on whom it would support to succeed Kofi Annan.
"Our administration has not yet made a decision on whom we will support to succeed Secretary General Kofi Annan. But we certainly hold Shashi Tharoor in greatest regard and I look forward to meeting him in my office," Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns told reporters on Wednesday.
"I don't think President Bush will make this decision until much further into the process" he added.
Burns declined to comment on the fact that Tharoor is an "insider" on the ground that it will not be fair to other candidates currently running for the position or have made broad indications to that effect.
"I don't want to make any specific comment because that would not be fair to all the other candidates out there. This is a decision President Bush will make. It is too early for us to make a commitment but we certainly respect Tharoor and I look forward to meeting him in a couple of weeks " Burns said.