Many world leaders say they look forward to working with whoever wins the closely contested U.S. presidential election.

Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi says he is sure his country will maintain close ties with the United States. Australia's Foreign Minister Alexander Downer says he looks forward to further building relations with Washington over the next four years.

Iraqi interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi says his country will maintain friendly ties with the United States, no matter who wins.

A spokesperson for Yasser Arafat says he hopes Mr. Bush will adopt a new policy in dealing with the Middle East if he wins. Mr. Bush and his administration have refused to deal with Mr. Arafat as part of the Middle East peace process. Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom says there is no significant difference between Mr. Bush and Senator John Kerry in regard to their support for Israel.

In Europe, French and German officials say the election provides a good opportunity to restore relations between Europe and the United States after differences over Iraq.