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Europe, Russia Praise Iraq Election

World leaders have praised Iraq's national election as a triumph for the Iraqi people.

In Europe and Russia, several leaders who opposed the war joined the United States in declaring the vote a success.

French President Jacques Chirac told President Bush by phone Monday the elections are an important stage in Iraq's reconstruction.

German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer said Iraqis deserve great recognition for heading to the polls despite the danger. But he reaffirmed Germany's refusal to send troops to the country.

Russia's President Putin called the vote a historic event.

Praise also came from Asian countries, including China, which said it hopes the vote brings stability to Iraq.

President Bush and Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair hailed the election Sunday, calling it a blow to terrorism.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.