Following is the full text of a statement released by Sen. Trent Lott on Dec. 20, 2002:

In the interest of pursuing the best possible agenda for the future of our country, I will not seek to remain as majority leader of the United States Senate for the 108th Congress effective January 6, 2003.

To all those who offered me their friendship, support and prayers, I will be eternally grateful.

I will continue to serve the people of Mississippi in the United States Senate.