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Feb 20,2008
Bush calls Pakistan elections significant
by UPI

ACCRA, Ghana - Parliamentary elections in Pakistan were fair, and U.S. President George Bush said Wednesday the countries still share interests in battling terrorists.

The party of U.S. ally President Pervez Musharraf was defeated in Monday's voting in Pakistan. Now newly elected lawmakers must form a government, Bush said, "and the question then is, will they be friends of the United States, and I certainly hope so."

The United States considers Pakistan an ally in the war against terrorists and the two countries have common interests, Bush said during a news conference in Accra, Ghana, the fourth stop during his African visit.

"We've got interests in dealing with radicals who killed (former Prime Minister) Benazir Bhutto," Bush said. "We've got interests in helping to make sure there's no safe haven from which people can plot and plan attacks against the United States of America and Pakistan."

Bush called the election process itself a "significant victory" in the war on terror because "ideologues can't stand -- like these guys we're dealing with -- can't stand free societies," which is one reason why "they tried to intimidate people during the election process."

© 2008 United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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