Three months into his new job as president of the World Bank, Paul D. Wolfowitz caused heartburn this week for some former colleagues in the Bush administration.
As finance ministers from around the world began three days of discussions here on Friday, officials closed in on an international agreement to wipe out $18 billion in debt for some of the world's poorest countries.
But that agreement came only after Mr. Wolfowitz publicly sided this week with officials from other countries who warned that the United States might back away from the full cost of debt relief for the poorest countries.
The quiet power struggle is part of Mr. Wolfowitz's transformation from an architect of the United States' war in Iraq to a champion for the world's poor.
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