So, By “Change” You Meant What Exactly?

Rice: Obama to follow Bush foreign policy
By Daniel Dombey in Washington

Published: December 21 2008 23:19 | Last updated: December 21 2008 23:19

Barack Obama might have little option but to follow George W. Bush’s approach on a range of foreign policy issues, including Iran, said Condoleezza Rice, secretary of state.

Ms Rice told the Financial Times the new administration was likely to follow Mr Bush’s lead in the dispute over Iran’s nuclear programme. During the president’s second term, the US has co-ordinated its approach with the European Union, Russia and China.

“When I talk to our allies they believe that that is the structure with which this is ultimately going to be resolved,” Ms Rice said, while acknowledging that the Obama administration would generally “do things in their own way”.

She said: “The reason why there might be some elements of continuity is that what we’ve tried to do is to arrange or organise international groupings that can first manage and then resolve these very difficult problems in a multilateral way.” She was referring not just to the administration’s efforts over Iran but also its approach to North Korea and the Israel-Palestinian issue.

Ms Rice’s words could damp expectations that the incoming administration will represent a complete break with its predecessor on foreign policy.

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