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Czech Leaders Hail Outcome Of U.S. Elections

Vaclav Klaus (file photo) Czech President Vaclav Klaus said on 3 November that George W. Bush's victory in the U.S. presidential election was due to his having demonstrated that he is "a true leader of his people in tough times," CTK reported.

Speaking through a spokesman, Klaus said the U.S. voters demonstrated that they value those leadership qualities of Bush. He added that despite criticism, Bush has remained consistent in his values and "this is a trait I greatly appreciate." Klaus said Bush "symbolizes America's best traditions: the love of freedom, optimism, individualism, a liberal economic environment, and conservative values." The same values, Klaus added "are also close to my heart.

Klaus's predecessor, Vaclav Havel, also expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the U.S. elections. Bush, he said, will continue to serve democracy and global security in his second term.

Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda told journalists the same day that "a majority among Americans have supported Bush in key matters, such as the war on international terrorism and the war in Iraq." Svoboda added that this was also the line the Czech Republic has been pursuing in its foreign policy. He said that he was "greatly disappointed" to have witnessed a growth of "anti-Americanism" in Europe. "It is Anglo-Saxon society that has never experienced totalitarianism," Svoboda said. The United States, he added, "greatly helped Europe and the Czech Republic" overcome totalitarianism in the 20th century and the key to Europe's future lies in its trans-Atlantic ties.

Main opposition Civic Democratic Party (ODS) Chairman Miroslav Topolanek said that for Czechs, "Bush is a guarantee for the long-term continuity and predictability of U.S. foreign policy."

[For reaction from around the world to the U.S. presidential election, see RFE/RL's webpage "World Reacts To U.S. Election".]