Bush Wishes Medvedev All the Best

U.S. President George W. Bush has called President-elect Dmitry Medvedev and has said he hopes to establish a close working relationship that will help them deal with important world issues.

With 100 percent of precincts counted, Medvedev won Sunday's election with 70.28 percent of the vote, Central Elections Commission chief Vladimir Churov said Tuesday. Turnout was 69.78 percent.

A White House statement about the telephone call said Bush had read with interest recent remarks by Medvedev about personal freedoms, independent media, rule of law and fighting corruption. The statement said Bush wished Medvedev and his family all the best in the lead-up to his inauguration in May.

North Korea, meanwhile, sent a congratulatory message to Medvedev, expressing hope for improved relations.

"I convey my sincere congratulations to you," North Korea's No. 2 leader, Kim Yong Nam, said in a message sent Monday to Medvedev, according to the Korean Central News Agency.

In the message, Kim also expressed his confidence that bilateral ties would continue to grow stronger, the news agency said.

The Soviet Union was once a stalwart supporter and donor for North Korea, but their ties withered after the 1991 Soviet breakup. The relations have begun to show signs of improvement, with Putin seeking to bolster trade and political ties with countries in Asia and the Middle East as part of an effort to counter U.S. clout.

Also Monday, Chinese President Hu Jintao invited Medvedev to visit China during a telephone call congratulating him on his victory, the government Xinhua news agency reported.

Hu pledged to improve ties between the countries, the report said.

Medvedev thanked Hu for the invitation and said he looked forward to a visit, Xinhua reported.

China and Russia were bitter rivals in the communist camp during the Cold War, but ties have warmed since the fall of the Soviet Union, partly from a mutual desire to counter U.S. influence.