Cautious Nordic reactions to US mid-term election outcome

dpa German Press Agency
Published: Wednesday November 8, 2006

Copenhagen/Stockholm- Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen said he hoped US President George W Bush and the new line- up in the United States Congress would be able to find "common ground," Rasmussen said Tuesday. "I hope that the president and congress under the new circumstances can find common ground regarding Iraq and Afghanistan. The world needs the United States to be decisive and resolute," Rasmussen said after the Democratic Party won control of the House of Representatives.

The Danish premier, whose country has contributed troops to both Iraq and Afghanistan, said it was too early to predict how the election would affect the US stance on Iraq.

Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said the result would unlikely affect overall Swedish-US relations, noting that ties were good.

One area that could possibly be affected was however trade as members of the Democratic Party have at times been more opposed to free trade than Republicans, Bildt said on Swedish radio.

Mogens Lykketoft, foreign affairs spokesman and former leader of the Danish opposition Social Democrats, welcomed the outcome, saying it would "shift the political landscape" in the US.

In Oslo, history professor Geir Lundestad said "the election result cannot be seen as a clear vote of confidence for the Democrats, but rather a rap on the knuckles of President Bush," Norwegian news agency NTB said.

Lundestad is head of the Nobel Institute that assists the five- member Nobel Committee that selects the Nobel Peace Prize winner.

© 2006 dpa German Press Agency