World Leaders Pleased With Clinton Re-election

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NEW YORK: From Israel to Indonesia, messages congratulating President Clinton on his sweeping re-election victory are pouring in, along with sometimes self-serving predictions of its implications. Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres agreed Clinton would support Arab-Israeli rapprochement, with Peres calling Clinton a "very smart man who doesn't blow things up." China's reaction, coming after clashes with Clinton, was surprisingly upbeat. A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman called recent positive developments and the improved atmosphere of China-U.S. relations the results of "hard work" on both sides. The Indonesian legislature provided an endorsement that the Clintons, already under fire for their connection to the Indonesian Lippo Group, could do without: in a less than felicitous turn of phrase, Theo Sambuaga, senior member of the Indonesian parliament's foreign relations committee, said Clinton's second term "gives us a strong lobby in the White House."