Democratic Party presidential challenger John Kerry has congratulated Republican George Bush on his victory in the presidential election and called on his supporters to unite and work together for America.
Senator Kerry phoned President Bush and congratulated him on winning his second term in office.
In an emotional address to supporters in his hometown of Boston, Mr. Kerry said he spoke with Mr. Bush about the need for Americans to unite after a long and sometimes difficult campaign.
"We talked about the danger of division in our country and the need, the desperate need for unity, for finding the common ground, coming together," he said. "Today, I hope that we can begin the healing."
Senator Kerry made the decision to concede after determining that he had no chance of overcoming the president's lead in the critical Midwestern state of Ohio.
Mr. Bush's victory in Ohio gave him more than the 270 electoral votes needed for victory in the U.S. presidential election.
Senator Kerry urged his supporters to come together in a common effort without remorse, recrimination or anger, and unify behind the nation's soldiers overseas and the overall war against terrorism.
"I pledge to do my part to try to bridge the partisan divide," he added. "I know this is a difficult time for my supporters, but I ask them, all of you, to join me in doing that. Now, more than ever, with our soldiers in harm's way, we must stand together and succeed in Iraq and win the war on terror."
Mr. Kerry's decision ends a two-year quest by the Massachusetts senator for the country's highest office, and his defeat comes as a bitter disappointment for members of his Democratic Party.