WASHINGTON, Dec. 18 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday called Chilean President-elect Michelle Bachelet, congratulating her for her victory and voicing the hope for better ties between the two countries.
During the phone conversation, Obama "expressed his desire to continue strengthening the relationship" between the United States and Chile on the basis of the "close partnership" in the past few years, the White House said in a statement.
Bachelet, who served as Chile's president from 2006 to 2010, won the second-round election on Sunday by garnering 62 percent of the votes.
White House hailed the "robust cooperation" between the U.S. and Chile on a variety of "important priorities", including the ongoing Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations and Chile's nomination this year to the U.S. Visa Waiver Program.
"The president looks forward to working closely with President- elect Bachelet to advance our shared interests in the years ahead, " the White House said.
Washington sees Chile as "a model of democratic governance" with a successful transition from a military government, and as a close ally in South America along with Colombia.