World Leaders Endorse Bush
John Kerry boasted earlier this year that he's met with a number of world leaders who are secretly rooting for him to defeat George Bush on Nov. 2.
But in an unprecedented series of announcements in recent days, most U.S. allies are lining up behind Bush - with Kerry garnering the backing of several of America's most outspoken antagonists.
Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said earlier this month that he wanted to see Bush "carry on" in his role of leader on the war on terror, with his chief deputy, Secretary General Tsutomu Takebe, explaining, "It would mean trouble if it is not President Bush. Mr Kerry is trying to address the North Korean problem bilaterally. That is totally out of the question."
Australian Prime Minister John Howard said last week: "I certainly think George Bush has given great leadership to the world fight against terrorism. I think he's been a very strong leader in that fight." Howard added, "I hope he wins."
Russian President Vladimir Putin offered what the Moscow press called a "ringing endorsement" for Bush at a confernce in Tajikistan last week, explaining: "International terrorists have set as their goal inflicting the maximum damage to Bush, to prevent his election to a second term. If they succeed in doing that, they will celebrate a victory over America and over the entire anti-terror coalition."
Putin offered his endorsement despite his continuing opposition to the Iraq war.
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said on Friday, "We hope and believe that the next president will again be Bush," while campaigning for Italian local elections in southern Italy.
Prime Minister Tony Blair has issued no formal endorsement for Bush, but his government agreed on Thursday to a controversial U.S. request to transfer 850 British soldiers from southern Iraq to the Baghdad area to free American forces for new offensives against insurgents.
Meanwhile, John Kerry has won expressions of support from North Korea, Cuba and the Palestinian Authority, with the governments of Jacques Chirac and Gerhard Schroeder believed to be quietly hoping he wins.
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