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United States: World Leaders Congratulate Clinton On Victory

Prague, 6 November 1996 (RFE/RL) -- Initial international reaction to Bill Clinton's victory in the U.S. presidential election is beginning to trickle in.

British Prime Minister John Major sent personal congratulations to Clinton. British opposition Labor Party leader Tony Blair, hoping for a similar victory within the next few months, says he is "absolutely delighted" for Clinton.

Japan's Foreign Minister, Yukihiko Ikeda, says Clinton demonstrated strong leadership in the post cold war international community. Clinton's victory, in Ikeda's words, "is a very reassuring event for the peace and prosperity of the world."

The result has had almost no effect on Asian financial markets. Currency traders in Tokyo and Hong Kong say the value of the dollar has been virtually unaffected by news of the Clinton victory.

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jim Bolger sent Clinton a congratulatory message.

Vietnam's foreign ministry issued a statement welcoming Clinton's re-election, and calling for stable relations between Hanoi and Washington. Clinton's administration established diplomatic relations with Hanoi last year, 20 years after North Vietnamese troops toppled the U.S. backed government in Saigon and reunited Vietnam under Communist rule.

French President Jacques Chirac has congratulated Clinton on winning a second four-year term at the White House, saying the re-election has ensured Paris a competent and generous partner for the future.

Chirac says he is pleased by Clinton's pledge to "build a bridge to the 21st century."

"We must work together to overcome the problems of the outgoing century and pave the way for our childrens' future," said Chirac.

U.S. President Bill Clinton has won a landslide victory, defeating former Republican Senator Bob Dole. It was the first time the American people re-elected a Democratic president for a second four-year term since Franklin Roosevelt in 1936 during the Great Depression.

Clinton won about 50 percent of the popular vote to Dole's 42 percent. Third-party candidate Ross Perot got about 8 percent.

Republicans have retained control of both houses of the U.S. Congress.