11/04/2004, 00.00
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Asian reactions to US elections

The first reactions in Asia to the re-election of George Bush as US president express hope that the United States will pay more attention to the international community, the fight against religious extremism and increased economic relations. AsiaNews presents some comments from South Korea, Pakistan and Indonesia:

South Korea: cooperation in promoting peace, says Roh Moo-hyun

Seoul (AsiaNews) – Most South Koreans hope that Bush will to pay more attention to the international community and manage relations with North Korea more wisely. South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun sent a message of congratulations to Bush expressing his hope that South Korea and the US can unite to promote peace on the Korean peninsula and around the world.

In an editorial, Korea Times stated its hope that in the future Bush's would choose greater cooperation and restore trust among nations.

According to Chosun Ilbo, another of South Korea's leading newspapers, the nuclear question in North Korea must be on the US president's list of priorities. In its editorial page, it voiced its concern that the White House might accentuate its pressure on North Korea, pressure that could threaten security on the Korean peninsula. "The two countries," Chosun Ilbo wrote, "should exert themselves in cementing the spiritual foundation of their alliance" in the name of "common values and [. . .] trust".

For the Korea Herald, Koreans are disappointed. Most expected a Kerry victory. The democratic candidate was seen as "more open to a dialogue" even though many thought "there was little difference between" him and Bush. Most people are worried by oil prices which rose after Bush's victory was announced.

Pakistan: for Ejaz Ghauri, Bush's victory is good for Pakistan

Islamabad (AsiaNews) – "We congratulate President Bush on being re-elected US president for the next four years. We believe that the people of the US made the right decision at the right time. President Bush is also better for Pakistan". This is how Ejaz Ghauri, president of the Christian Progressive Movement, articulated the satisfaction felt by Pakistan's Christian community over the outcome of the US presidential elections.

In his press release, Ghauri stressed how the Bush administration and Pakistan's President Musharraf share the same vision on major issues, namely the fight against religious extremism, sectarian violence and minority protection.

"Thanks to good bilateral US-Pakistan relations," Ghauri concluded, "greater attention will be paid to protecting religions minorities in the country."

Indonesia: let us increase bilateral relations, says Hassan Wirajuda

Jakarta (AsiaNews) – Indonesia's Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda congratulated President Bush in his victory and expressed his hope that commercial relations between Indonesia and the US would improve. "The country hopes that bilateral relations between the US and Indonesia might improve, especially business-wise," he said.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Marty Natalegawa highlighted the importance of "the success of the US elections and the high turnout" adding that Indonesia's President Susilo will soon send Bush an official letter offering "his congratulations".

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“L’Asia: ecco il nostro comune compito per il terzo millennio!” - Giovanni Paolo II, da “Alzatevi, andiamo”