By Jim Malone
Foreign policy and national security issues returned to center stage in the U.S. presidential election campaign Tuesday.
The presumed Democratic presidential nominee, Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, continued a series of speeches on national security issues during a campaign appearance in Florida.
Senator Kerry outlined a series of proposals to keep weapons of mass destruction out of the hands of terrorists. Mr. Kerry said if he were elected president, he would make it a priority to secure weapons and nuclear materials in the former Soviet Union and would also work to end nuclear programs in Iran and North Korea.
"As president, my number one security goal to protect the United States of America and to win the war on terror most effectively will be to prevent the terrorists from gaining weapons of mass murder and ensure that hostile states disarm. That is our priority," he said.
Foreign policy was also a major focus at the White House where President Bush welcomed the formation of a new Iraqi interim government. The president also pledged that the U.S. led coalition in Iraq will meet the June 30 deadline for the handover of sovereignty to the Iraqi people.
"The will of Iraqis and our coalition is firm,” he said. “We will not be deterred by violence and terror. We will stand together and ensure that the future of Iraq is a future of freedom."
The Kerry campaign meanwhile issued a new television advertisement slated to run in 19 states over the next few weeks that touts the senator's experience in both domestic and foreign policy issues and emphasizes his view of the United States as a country of "optimists."
Kerry Ad: "A strong military and strong alliances to defeat terror. America. Stronger at home. Respected in the world. John Kerry for president."
The Bush campaign continues to run ads of its own questioning Senator Kerry's record on terrorism, defense and foreign policy.
The latest public opinion polls, as they have for weeks now, indicate the November election is likely to be very close.
Jim Malone, VOA News, Washington.注释：
former Soviet Union 前苏联（在1991年解体）
interim government 过渡政府
optimist 乐天派, 乐观者
opinion polls 民意测验