World Leaders Congratulate Bush

Bush’s father, former President George Bush, was the top U.S. envoy to Beijing in the late 1970s and is regarded as a good friend of China.

Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian and Vice President Annette Lu also cabled congratulations to Bush and his running mate Dick Cheney.

“Our two countries have a long history, and have common principles in pursuing democracy and respecting human rights,” the statement quoted Chen as saying.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori said in a statement that his country wanted to cooperate with Bush to strengthen the alliance between the world’s two largest economic powers. He also said he wanted to visit the United States as soon as Bush is inaugurated into office in late January.

“It’s important that I meet him as soon as possible after he takes office,” he told reporters.

Japanese leaders in particular welcomed the importance that Bush attaches to the U.S.-Japan alliance, which Foreign Minister Yohei Kono called the “cornerstone of peace and stability” in the Asia-Pacific region.

“We are encouraged that president-elect Bush has stressed the significance of strengthening the Japan-U.S. alliance during his campaign,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda said.

In his telegram of congratulations, President Kim Dae-jung of South Korea said: “I hope that we can strengthen our joint efforts to settle peace on the Korean peninsula and end the Cold War while retaining strong U.S.-South Korea security alliance.”

Barak: Continue Path to Peace

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak congratulated Bush and expressed his “certainty that the strong friendship and special relationship between the two countries will continue in the future as well.”

In a statement released by his office, Barak thanked Gore for years of friendship and support, and said he believed the new administration would continue to aid the Mideast peace process.

“Similar values and joint interests have characterized U.S.-Israeli relations for decades and I have no doubt that President-elect Bush, whom I know and respect, will continue together with us in fortifying these ties,” Barak’s office quoted him as saying in the statement.

No Secret: Oz Likes W

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

“No country could be more genuine than Australia in its desire that the United States continue to flourish under your presidency,” Howard said in a letter to Bush.

Howard’s conservative coalition government had made no secret of its preference for Bush over Vice President Al Gore, and was among the first to offer premature congratulations on election night.

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

Pakistan has worried about growing U.S. interest in India since the Cold War ended a decade ago. During Washington’s confrontation with Moscow, Pakistan was a close U.S. ally and India had warm ties with the Soviet Union.

U.S.-Pakistan relations have been strained by U.S. anger over Pakistan’s nuclear tests, its alleged military involvement in unrest in Indian-controlled Kashmir, its backing for the Taliban government in Afghanistan and Musharraf’s overthrow of the elected government 14 months ago.

In Afghanistan, the Taliban militia that rules most of the country welcomed Bush and issued a plea for a new, friendly relationship.

The United States and the Taliban have been at odds over the presence in Afghanistan of suspected terrorist Osama bin Laden, believed by Washington to be running a global terrorist network from his bases there. The U.S. has spearheaded U.N. sanctions against the Taliban.’s Ed Mazza and Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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