stand in welcome contrast to

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Senior Member

The chapters on foreign policy provide an excellent review of the state of affairs as of early 1989. Both books stand in welcome contrast to the many superficial works on Gorbachev and reform now pouring out of the presses.

(This comes from Reform In Russia And The U.S.S.R; Gorbachev's Agenda)

I could understand 'in stark/sharp contrast to something', but I don't understand what 'welcome contrast' means. Does it mean contrast that give you happiness or pleasure?

Thanks in advance!
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