Wolfowitz has been criticised by Europe since he took the job in 2005.
Almost simultaneously at a news conference in the White House Rose Garden, George Bush, the US president, reiterated his support for Wolfowitz, but said the issue had not been discussed while meeting Angela Merkel, the German chancellor and EU president.
“Wolfowitz must resign because … his act of favouritism for personal interest was wrong”
Ibby, Mumbai, India
Bush said: “I think he ought to stay. He ought to be given a fair hearing.”
The bank’s 24-member board is expected to make a decision in the case this week, which has also raise expressions of concern that the bank’s mission of helping the poor would be damaged.
Wolfowitz said he regretted the “tumult” the controversy had caused the bank, but said: “To criticise me when I did nothing other than attempt in good faith to follow the guidance of the ethics committee would be unwarranted and grossly unfair.”
“Moreover, it would be harmful to the institution,” he said.