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Bush: The world reacts

  CHAT TRANSCRIPT
reporter Christiane Amanpour on international reaction to U.S. Elections

LONDON, England -- The final resolution of the U.S. presidential election after weeks of uncertainty was welcomed by the international community with relief but some caution over what George W. Bush's approach to foreign policy will be.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Australian Prime Minister John Howard were among the first world leaders to congratulated the president-elect.

Israeli leader Ehud Barak and Palestinian President Yasser Arafat predicted the new administration would continue searching for Mideast peace.

Chinese president, Jiang Zemin, said he looked forward to working with Bush.

Schroeder, in a written message, said he hoped to meet Bush soon to tend the countries' traditionally good bilateral relations and build on the legacy of Bush's father, who as U.S. president backed German reunification in 1990.

"The decisive contribution to the reunification of Germany that the U.S. made under your father's leadership is anchored deep in Germans' consciousness," Schroeder said.

 VIDEO
The general consensus throughout the world is suspicion about Bush's legitimacy. CNN's Jim Bittermann reports (December 14)

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(QuickTime or Windows Media)

Different sides in the Middle East have various reactions to a Bush presidency. CNN's Jerrold Kessel has a summary (December 14)

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(QuickTime or Windows Media)

A China analyst says Bush will tread carefully there. CNN's Lisa Rose Weaver reports (December 14)

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(QuickTime or Windows Media)
 
  AUDIO
Robertson

Nato's General Secretary George Robertson welcomes the president- elect

142K/25 sec.
AIFF or WAV sound

Amanpour

Christiane Amanpour in London on European congratulations and concern

276K/50 sec.
AIFF or WAV sound
 
  ALSO
 

"Today, our partnership is proving its worth as we face new challenges in a world that is growing together."

Blair, who was playing host to President Bill Clinton during his visit to Dublin, Belfast and London, told Bush he hoped to strengthen the country's "special relationship" with the U.S. after what had been "a long and agonising wait for you."

"I'm very glad it is finally settled. I know that together we will strengthen still further the special friendship between Britain and the United States."

The foreign policy brief on Bush's Website names several countries of special interest to him. But none is in the Balkans, and that outlook worries some NATO members.

Bush cites Russia and China as concerns, along with Taiwan, Korea, India, Pakistan, the Pacific, the Gulf, and Chechnya.

EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said it was vital to keep close ties between Washington and the 15-nation bloc.

He sent a message as foreign ministers of the 19-member NATO alliance gathered in Brussels to discuss a security deal with the EU which has drawn criticism in the United States.

Solana said: "We need to continue the existing close co-operation if we are to be successful in securing our common interests and values."

Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern, who earlier this week had talks with Clinton, said Bush has expressed strong support for the 1998 Good Friday agreement on Northern Ireland.

He said: "He (Bush) has made it clear that as president he will use the prestige and influence of the United States to develop and deepen the peace process."

In Scandinavia, the governments of Norway, Denmark and Finland congratulated Bush, and expressed confidence in the President-elect's international engagement.

Barak said he was "convinced that the new administration will continue to assist the people of the Middle East to instill peace among themselves."

Arafat said it was good news for the peace process that George W. Bush had been named U.S. president-elect.

"Definite. Not to forget that his father has started the Madrid conference," Arafat added.

Bush's father, George, was president when the Madrid conference first launched peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians in 1991, leading to the 1993 Oslo accords.

Messages of support were also sent from the Far East, China and Japan.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori said that his country wanted to co-operate with Bush to strengthen the alliance between the world's two largest economic powers.

Chinese President Jiang Zemin offered "warm congratulations" to Bush, although the prospect of a Bush presidency has caused concern in Beijing because of his support for Taiwan, which China considers a breakaway province.

Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian said: "The U.S. and Taiwan have a long history, and have common principles in pursuing democracy and respecting human rights."

South Korea's foreign ministry expressed hope that Bush will continue to support its peace drive on the Korean peninsula.

"Our government hopes the next U.S. administration will keep contributing significantly to peace and stability on the Korean peninsula, the Asia-Pacific region and the world," the ministry said in a statement.

Australian Prime Minister John Howard said Bush could count on Australia's commitment to working together.

Pakistan said it looked forward to working with the new Bush administration for peace in South Asia.

Pakistan's military ruler General Pervez Musharraf -- whose name Bush once could not remember when interviewed -- also sent a congratulations message.



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