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Bondevik hopes for better collaboration

Norwegian PM Kjell Magne Bondevik hopes the president in the US the next four years will be much better at collaborating internationally.

The results were in favor of President George W. Bush Monday morning, Norwegian time.

«It’s amazing that such a large country with so many people voting is divided down the middle in the election of a new leader,» Bondevik said to TV 2 Nettavisen. «It indicates the need for Bush, if he is re-elected, to build a bridge over the differences which exists in the country.»

Bondevik did not hide that Norway’s relationship to the US has taken on a negative air under the leadership of Bush, and he said he hopes this will change during the next four years.

Developed frictions
«I hope he during the next four years, if he is re-elected, focuses more on collaboration,» Bondevik stated. «International organizations, like the UN, which we claim to be important, the Americans have downplayed under Bush. Frictions have developed during his presidency. What is important now is that he builds alliances and becomes a bridge builder internationally.»

When asked if Bondevik would prefer John Kerry as president, he answered as the politician he is;

«As prime minister, I have to relate to the person who is elected, and it is important to have a good relationship to the president, but we must also voice our opinion when we disagree with the US. We are against the Iraq war, and we are going to voice our opinion when the US doesn’t want to sign the Kyoto agreement.»

Hopes for a change of course
Labor leader Jens Stoltenberg also stressed the Bush administrations lacking ability to collaborate internationally.

«They have walked alone in international politics, for example, the war against Iraq,» Stoltenberg said to the TV 2 Nyhetene.

Stoltenberg said he hoped and believed that the Bush administration would change the course during the next four years.

«If they change the course, I think it’s first and foremost due to them learning from the experience in Iraq,» Stoltenberg said. «They will not repeat that because the costs have been so large. Even the supporters of the invasion understand that it was less than a smart choice. There is not less terror, maybe even more.»

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