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Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 November, 2004, 13:14 GMT
World press split over Rice

Newspapers around the world have mixed views on the nomination of Condoleezza Rice as the new US Secretary of State.

While some commentators see the appointment as a positive move which will enhance US foreign policy in the years ahead, many fear it heralds a more hard-line approach to international affairs.

In the Middle East, Israeli newspapers report that the government is delighted at the news, while views in the Arabic press veer between optimism and cynicism.

Any suggestion that the second Bush administration might take a less strident stance on international relations will disappear with Dr Rice's move to the State Department... there is likely to be little restraint under Dr Rice.

Australia's The Age

US diplomacy will not make drastic changes under Rice, but there is great concern that it will tend to take a hard line.

Japan's Mainichi Shimbun

Some say US foreign policy will be 'hard-line' under Rice's leadership. Actually, in foreign affairs and national defence affairs, Rice has always taken a neutral standpoint, and coordinated and brought together the viewpoints of all sides... What Secretary Rice inherits from Secretary Powell, apart from the handover of duties, should also be a change in expression. Otherwise, without a smiling face, there may be more awkward international situations

China's Beijing Qingnian Bao [Beijing Youth Daily]

The US ship of state may sail more smoothly in the next four years. That, however, is exactly the worry. Mr Powell's departure removes one of the strongest voices of dissent in the cabinet, at a time when Mr Bush needs moderating influences, especially in the area of foreign policy.

Hong Kong's South China Morning Post

The appointment of Rice, who will make history as the first African American Secretary of State, will be highly welcomed by the conservatives. The resignation of Powell has raised the world's sympathy. In the eyes of the world, Powell is a 'solitaire' multi-lateralist amidst the neo-conservatives who tend to be unilateralists.

Indonesia's Kompas

Dr Condoleezza Rice is a brilliant person and Bush is extremely lucky to appoint her. Owing to her wits, Asian governments like Rice and she will try to solve various issues related to US interests in Asia.

Malaysia's Utusan Malaysia

The US State Department has moved further to the right following Powell's resignation and the appointment of Condoleezza Rice. The only common denominator between Powell and Condoleezza is the colour of their skin. One sure thing on which analysts will agree is that Condoleezza Rice is an exceptionally powerful personality, yet weak due to her devotion to Bush.

London-based Pan Arabic Al-Arab al-Alamiyah

She does not belong to the new conservatives, but is a pragmatic politician who is not blinded by ideology. However, she is a difficult interlocutor, and has unwavering convictions. Despite this she managed, nevertheless, to come to an understanding with her French interlocutors on more than one topic.

London-based Pan Arabic Al-Hayat

In her capacity as national security adviser, Rice has expressed more than one extremist view and promoted hardline policies in Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine. Therefore, no one should expect her to change her views in her new post, rather one should expect her to adopt more hardline policies.

Jordan's Al-Dustur

Condoleezza Rice is midway between the doves and hawks, moving from one nest to the other. Her presence in the State Department might restore its importance after the hawks had clipped Powell's wings.

Palestinian Al-Hayat al-Jadidah

The appointment of Condoleezza Rice is a strong indication US policies in the Bush second term will be dominated by the military.

United Arab Emirates' Al-Khalij

Growing racism towards the Palestinians and Arabs in general in America is today a reality. It is appropriate that Condoleezza Rice should do something about it as she gets ready to move to her new post. Will she be willing to tackle it?

Lebanon's Al-Nahar

Yesterday officials in Israel had difficulty concealing their happiness at the appointment of Condoleezza Rice. For Israel, Rice's appointment is great news primarily because for the first time there is a chance for change in the State Department's traditional attitude to Israel: while White House officials have always tended to accommodate Israel for political or other considerations, State Department officials sought greater balance in their approach towards Israel and the Palestinians.

Israel's Yediot Aharonot

Condoleezza Rice comes from a place where black is black and white is white - not in the racial sense, but the biblical sense. Rice comes from a region where the church instils in its faithful simple truths of good and bad. Where Europe sees a freedom fighter, people like Rice see a terrorist with a Kalashnikov.

Israel's Ma'ariv

Senior diplomats in Jerusalem strained to contain their pleasure at US President George W. Bush's appointment of Condoleezza Rice. It's not as if Secretary of State Colin Powell was not similarly 'positively predisposed' or a friend of Israel. But while Israel often felt that Powell was trying to bring the traditionally Arabist State Department point of view to bear on the White House, the hope in Jerusalem is that Rice will bring Bush's pro-Israel positions to the State Department.

Israel's Jerusalem Post

The decline of Powell's fortunes is a tragic tale of American politics: Americans have no permanent friends, but permanent interests, and we hope those in the [opposition] MDC draw lessons from this. We won't miss Powell because though he attempted to resolve over 28 crises in different countries during his tenure in Washington, where Zimbabwe is concerned he chose to throw petrol into the fire with his invectives and partiality. We welcome Ms Condoleezza Rice, and hope her fabled abrasiveness can be used to polish relations between our two countries.

Zimbabwe's Herald

The choice of George Bush attests that for the coming four years, a 'hard line' will dominate US policy. The fact that Bush did not wish to part with Rumsfeld and at the same time wanted to strengthen the influence of Rice, as well as of other radical neo-conservatives, speaks for itself: in the coming four years the US president intends to carry out even harsher foreign policy than in the first term.

Russia's Novyye Izvestiya

Experts expect her to toughen up the policy of the US towards the Middle East and Asian countries, while Russian diplomats have nothing to be concerned about.

Russia's Vedomosti

Hardly anyone expects there to be any radical changes in US foreign with the Rice appointment. Yes, Powell persistently tried to build up some semblance of an alliance with Western European countries. However, behind him stood the figure of another director - Vice-President Dick Cheney, who together with Rumsfeld decided on the main contours of American policy. Condoleezza Rice knows that her room for manoeuvre will also be restricted as long as 'eminence gris' Cheney remains in the White House.

Russia's Izvestiya

By preferring Condoleezza Rice to Colin Powell and by raining death on Falluja, George W. Bush gives new messages: Everything will be worse. Weapons and militarism will be the determining elements of the coming period. The aggressiveness of the USA will provoke the world to arm and the militarist powers will increase their influence.

Turkey's Cumhuriyet

With Rice's nomination, Bush is sending out a message: the office is mine, I'm taking command.

Germany's Sueddeutsche Zeitung

She will not be exactly wanting for hot issues, from the planned elections in Iraq to the question of nuclear non-proliferation, with North Korea and Iran in the forefront in this respect. [Her] academic specialization was on the Soviet Union and the Cold War. The world she will have to confront is no less dangerous, and much more complex.

Spain's La Vanguardia

Bush pensioned off the wrong people, promoted the wrong people and allowed the wrong people to remain. Condoleezza Rice has not earned her promotion. She has not performed satisfactorily.

Denmark's Information

As the White House's national security advisor, she acted as go-between between Bush and his chief colleagues. Her new mission is quite different. We need to see her in action before judging her. She might surprise us.

France's Le Figaro

Condoleezza Rice, despite her expertise, cannot be considered the same political heavyweight as Powell. In the past four years, she has not uttered a single individual opinion on any issue. But if she does have any independent ideas, nobody surrounding the president will be in a better position to represent them.

Hungary's Nepszabadsag

Condoleezza Rice's move to the State Department is a clear signal from Bush to the world. The White House has one single message, a conservative one.

Brazil's Jornal do Brasil

Condoleezza Rice, from the school of thought of the law of the strongest, sustains that the United States has the right, without the consent afforded by treaties and multinational institutions, to attack a country that might come to pose a threat on acquiring the means to do so - and not just those that constitute a clear and present one.

Brazil's Estado de Sao Paulo

Rice is known for her inflexibility, fanaticism, her profound Christian conservativism, so akin to Bush's messianic fundamentalist vision which conceives the US as the world's judge and executioner. The change of personnel at the State Department would seem to suggest a deepening of militarism and a reinforcement of unilateralism.

Mexico's La Jornada

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

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