Australian PM to talk with Bush about Republican's loss in U.S.

Australian Prime Minister John Howard said he will talk with U.S. President George W Bush about the Republicans loss in the mid-term elections during the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in Vietnam's capital of Hanoi next week.

Howard said the Iraq war is not only the issue, but many conservatives were unhappy with the size of the U.S. budget deficit.

"It was a bad result for the Republicans, it was predictable, the polls turned out to be quite accurate," Howard told Australia's Southern Cross Broadcasting radio Thursday.

"Iraq was a big issue, undeniably. There were other issues, however, I don't think Iraq was the only issue, there was cumulative unhappiness with the Republicans," he said.

Howard said he will commiserate with Bush in person at the APEC meeting in the second half of next week.

Howard said he had always accepted that the majority of the Australian public had been against the military commitment to Iraq.

However, he said he does not believe the majority of Australians are in favor of just getting out in a precipitous way.

"They do recognize and accept that if the coalition leaves Iraq in circumstances which is seen as a defeat that would be incredibly bad for American authority and that in turn would be very bad for Australia," he said.

Source: Xinhua

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