Rice says Bush foreign policy to focus on interests


WASHINGTON, AFP

President-elect George W. Bush’s national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, said Monday that Bush’s foreign policy would focus on “Western values” and “interests.”

In an interview with NBC television, Rice said, “I think hallmarks of a Bush administration foreign policy will be consistency, a tendency to put allies first, to look very strongly to the long-term relationships around the world that have sustained American foreign policy.”

Rice said Bush would focus on rebuilding U.S. military power and “calibrate it to the concerns and to the challenges the military actually faces.”

“The Western hemisphere, Latin America and our relationships with Canada and Mexico, our closest neighbors, should also be core to our foreign policy,” she said.

Rice declined to directly critique US President Bill Clinton’s policies however, saying “the president elect now wants to look forward.”

Rice said that Bush supported U.N. intervention in Kosovo, because “our allies wanted to do this for very good reasons.”

“When you send our young men and women into harms way, it has to be for issues that are vital to the country,” she said.

“You’re going to see a policy that is balanced, that understands that values and ideals go hand and hand with interest,” she said.

The Bush administration would build a foreign policy “that puts our values, Western values and interests together in a really creative way,” she added.