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World Leaders React to US Election

World leaders have begun reacting to George Bush's victory in the U.S. presidential election.

European Commission President Romano Prodi congratulated Mr. Bush on his win, saying the European Union will continue working to strengthen what he called its bonds of friendship and cooperation with the United States.

Israeli officials call the results a victory for those who are committed to fighting terrorism.

Other world leaders had reacted even before Democratic party candidate John Kerry called Mr. Bush on Wednesday morning to concede the election.

Several expressed a preference for President Bush. Russian President Vladimir Putin said a win by the Republican candidate would show the American people have not allowed themselves to be intimidated by terrorist threats. Mr. Putin has made fighting terrorism a centerpiece of his governing.

Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski said the prospect of further cooperation with President Bush is a good thing for Poland. Poland was one of a few European countries to join the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq.

Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos told Spanish radio his country will work hard on its relationship with the United States, no matter who wins the presidential race. Mr. Moratinos, whose country withdrew from the U.S.-led coalition, called the United States an "ally" and a "friend."

French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier told his country's LCI television network France and the United States need to see how they can work together to help solve crises in Haiti, Africa, the Middle East and Afghanistan.

German Interior Minister Otto Schily, whose country opposed the war in Iraq, said Germany and the United States must work together to help stabilize the situation there, regardless of past differences.

Iraqi interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi says his country will maintain friendly ties with the United States, no matter who wins.

A spokesperson for Yasser Arafat says he hopes Mr. Bush will adopt a new policy in dealing with the Middle East if he wins. Mr. Bush and his administration have refused to deal with Mr. Arafat as part of the Middle East peace process.

Some of this information provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.