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U.S. AMBASSADOR: WASHINGTON'S RELATIONS WITH RUSSIA NOT TO CHANGE DURING BUSH'S SECOND TERM
MOSCOW, November 5 (RIA Novosti) - The U.S. policy towards Russia will not change after George Bush's reelection, U.S. ambassador to Russia Alexander Vershbow said at a press conference in Moscow on Friday.
"I am convinced that George Bush will continue the policy towards Russia he pursued during his first presidential term," the diplomat said.
The United States hopes "for joint fight against sharp challenges and threats to both countries," the ambassador noted.
In Mr. Vershbow's opinion, the two countries have a big potential to develop bilateral relations.
"In the last four years we achieved great progress in counter-terrorism and effectively cooperated against proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Moreover, we have launched the fight against new threats and challenges such as the fight against AIDS. We boast a rich cooperation potential, which have not been implemented yet," the ambassador said.
According to him, Russia and the United States have serious contradictions on the war in Iraq, however, our positions on the consolidation of Iraq's democracy in Iraq are getting closer.
"In the next four years we shall completely realize this potential and raise our partnership to a new level," the ambassador noted.
Although Russian-U.S. interaction faces new threats, we can cooperate on a wide range of issues and overcome hardships, Alexander Vershbow said.
The post-Arafat Palestinian administration should demonstrate readiness for the cease of terrorist attacks, he emphasized.
"The Palestinian leadership should make a decision on the country's destiny after Arafat's death. But we hope that when domestic contradictions are over, the new Palestinian administration will display both adherence to peace and readiness to stop terrorist acts undermining the road map," the diplomat noted.
U.S. President George Bush believes that Yasser Arafat is not the man to negotiate for peace with, Mr. Vershbow said.
George Bush has confirmed that the United Stats strives for the formation of two states, Israel and independent Palestine, the ambassador concluded.