Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid on Wednesday welcomed the electoral victory of US Republican George W. Bush, Foreign Minister Alwi Shihab said.
"The president happily welcomes the election of Bush and in a short time our congratulatory cable will be sent to him," Shihab quoted the president as having said at the Merdeka palace.
Shihab who spoke to journalists after meeting Wahid, said that he believed Bush was "more suitable" as the new US president "because there is no intervention on world affairs."
He did not elaborate, but said that there was a possibility that with the change of government, Washington might also change its envoy here.
Relations between Indonesia and the United States have deteriorated sharply following a bitter war of words between several Indonesian ministers -- especially defence Minister Mahmudin Mahfud and Shihab -- and the current US envoy to Jakarta, Robert Gelbard.
MPs have been at the forefront of efforts to demand the replacement of Gelbard whom they accused of interfering in Indonesia affairs and of undiplomatic conduct.
Anti-American sentiment, further fueled by Washington's stance over Israeli violence in the Middle East, recently led to the closure of the US embassy to the public for two weeks. It reopened Tuesday after Indonesia beefed up security at the mission – JAKARTA (AFP)
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