WASHINGTON – Embattled World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz is negotiating an agreement to resign, one official familiar with the talks told The Associated Press.
But a source close to Wolfowitz told FOX News that he "is not going to resign while this cloud remains over his head."
His departure would include an acknowledgment from the bank that he doesn't bear sole responsibility for the controversy surrounding a generous pay package for his girlfriend, Shaha Riza, the official told the AP.
The negotiations were taking place as the bank's board resumed deliberations over Wolfowitz's fate Wednesday afternoon. The board released a statement later Wednesday that deliberations had ended for the day and would continue Thursday morning.
Wolfowitz would also not be releasing a statement Wednesday, FOX News was told.
The official told AP that Wolfowitz wanted the bank to accept some responsibility for conflicts of interest cited against him by a special bank panel. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the delicate state of the negotiations.
It was not clear whether the bank's 24-member board would accept Wolfowitz's terms.
Pressure on Wolfowitz to resign has grown since a special bank panel report, released Monday, found that he broke conflict-of-interest rules in his handling of the 2005 pay package of bank employee Riza.
Wolfowitz has maintained that he acted in good faith.
The source close to the bank president told FOX News that reporting to the effect that Wolfowitz is presently negotiating with World Bank officials the terms of his resignation are "premature ... way ahead of where anybody else [involved with the case] is."
The source said Wolfowitz is said to be waiting to see how the World Bank board will rule before contemplating such talks. "We are not negotiating the verdict here," the source told FOX News. "We do not know how the Shaha Riza case is going to be decided."
The White House, which picked Wolfowitz for the post, indicated for the first time on Tuesday that it was willing to consider new leadership for the bank.
By tradition, the World Bank has been run by an American, with the approval of the bank's board. The bank's sister agency, the International Monetary Fund, is headed by a European.
FOX News' James Rosen and The Associated Press contributed to this report.