The Soviet Union said today that George Bush’s election shows that Americans support the Reagan Administration’s arms control efforts, and that an early summit with the new President is likely.
British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher of Britain, senior stateswoman of the Western alliance, stayed up all night watching results on television and pledged her country’s “staunch support” for Bush.
In Moscow, Soviet Foreign Ministry spokesman Vadim Perfiliev told a briefing when asked about a meeting between Bush and Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev: “Such summits have become normal phenomena in our relations.
“I can be absolutely confident that such summits would follow, but I can’t provide concrete information as to the next summit.
“We note with satisfaction that the American electorate express their view with regard to the continuation of arms control negotiations and for expanding cooperation between the U.S.A. and the Soviets in all possible areas.”
No Preference Indicated
The Soviets had not expressed a preference in the election, but Foreign Ministry spokesman Gennady I. Gerasimov said last week that the Soviets would like a prompt summit with whoever won.
Thatcher, a longtime friend and political ally of President Reagan, said in London that she was pleased that a man in the same mold will assume the presidency.
“The main advantage is the same positive policies of the last eight years, which are very similar to our own, will continue into the future,” Thatcher said.
Congratulations From French
French Foreign Minister Roland Dumas said his socialist government sent congratulations, and he told French radio that Bush “is serious, a hard worker with a lot of experience in foreign affairs. He’s very attentive to Europe and has a good relationship with President (Francois) Mitterrand.”
Foreign Minister Shimon Peres of Israel said he expected Bush to launch a new Mideast peace initiative, while Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir was said by a spokesman to be “confident and hopeful that the excellent ties with the United States will continue as they are now.”
Farouk Kaddoumi, the PLO’s foreign policy chief, noted that U.S. Secretary of State George P. Shultz had recently modified his position and put more emphasis on Palestinian political rights.
Kaddoumi, in Tokyo on a visit, said, “I hope Mr. Bush will further this statement.”
President Pieter W. Botha of South Africa cabled Bush his hopes that U.S.-South African relations would be “strengthened on the basis of mutual respect and understanding.”
State Radio South Africa editorialized that “there will once again be a President in the United States who is opposed to further sanctions against South Africa.”