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International Community Welcomes Obama Win

ovember 07, 2012


Political leaders in many parts of the world have welcomed the reelection of U.S. President Barack Obama to a second four-year term.

In Berlin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel indicated that she looked forward to continued collaboration with the United States.

"I want to offer my warm congratulations to the reelected President Barack Obama," she said. "We know each other well and I also look forward to cooperating with respect to stabilizing the trans-Atlantic relationship between the German federal government and the United States of America. But also between the European Union and the United States of America. I wish [him] good luck today."

A spokesman for Vladimir Putin said the Russian president viewed Obama's reelection over Republican rival Mitt Romney "very positively" and had sent a congratulatory telegram to Washington.

In a joint statement, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and EU President Herman Van Rompuy said they looked forward to continuing their "close cooperation" with Obama.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen, secretary-general of the NATO military alliance, expressed "warm congratulations," praising what he called Obama's "outstanding leadership" in maintaining Euro-Atlantic ties.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said he envisaged continued cooperation with Obama. "I have really enjoyed working with him over these last few years and I look forward to working with him again over the next four years," he said.

French President Francois Hollande suggested that Obama's victory was a signal that the United States would remain deeply engaged in international issues. He called the victory "an important moment for the United States and also for the world."

Israel, which had expressed frustration with Obama's diplomatic stance on its adversary Iran, nonetheless welcomed his reelection.

President Shimon Peres expressed confidence Obama would "do whatever he can" to reduce the threat of Iran's nuclear program. "What he said about Iran he will do," he said. "I am convinced completely. The responsibilities that are falling on his shoulders are not simple."

Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas also offered his congratulations and called on Obama to continue efforts to achieve Middle East peace.

Taliban Urges U.S. Withdrawal

Hamid Karzai and Asif Ali Zardari, the presidents of Afghanistan and Pakistan, respectively, both offered their congratulations on Obama's reelection and expressed hope for expanding ties with the United States.

Taliban insurgents, meanwhile, issued a statement calling on Obama to admit that the United States has lost the war in Afghanistan and pull its troops out immediately.

The foreign minister of Iraq congratulated Obama. Hoshyar Zebari told RFE/RL that his country was ready to "solidify and strengthen" its relations with the United States.

Obama oversaw the final pullout of U.S. military forces from Iraq at the end of 2011, nine years after the start of a war launched by his predecessor, George W. Bush. Violence and extremist attacks are seen as rising in Iraq since the U.S. withdrawal.

In Egypt, where Obama gave a landmark 2009 speech on his hopes for the Muslim world, President Muhammad Morsi praised Obama's win, saying he hoped the U.S. administration would serve the interests of both the American and the Egyptian people.

China's Foreign Ministry said President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao phoned Obama to congratulate him on his win.

Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping, who is due to assume the presidency this week, made a congratulatory call to Obama's running mate, Vice President Joe Biden.

The Dalai Lama also congratulated Obama, saying he had made "earnest efforts to live up to...the trust placed in you by the American public."

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon congratulated Obama and urged him to act quickly on ending the war in Syria and reviving the Middle East peace process.

And the main opposition Syrian National Council also voiced hope on November 7 that resolving the conflict in Syria would figure at the top of Obama's agenda.

Kenyan Jubilation

Jubilant celebrations were also held in Indonesia, where Obama lived as a child, and in his ancestral homeland Kenya, where his father was born.

Speaking in her village of Kogelo, the president's step-grandmother, Sara Obama, urged her grandson to work hard but said he was welcome to visit Kenya at any time.

"He is welcome home," she said. "I would just like to tell him to give his best to the people who have shown their faith in him by electing him."

Elsewhere, in Moldova, Prime Minister Vlad Filat praised the conduct of the U.S. presidential election as a model of "political culture" and "responsibility."

Speaking to RFE/RL's Moldovan Service in Chisinau after Obama's victory, Filat said he appreciated a system in which the defeated candidate "concedes with dignity" and offers support to the winner.

In Kazakhstan, President Nursultan Nazarbaev's official website said that he had congratulated Obama on his reelection. In an official telegram, the Kazakh leader expressed hope for a continued strategic partnership between Astana and Washington.

Earlier on November 7, Kazakh presidential adviser Ermukhamet Ertisbaev told RFE/RL that Obama had won due to his successful approach to foreign relations, namely his "reset" policy toward Russia, cooperation with the European Union, and a firm stance against international terrorism.

Ghani Qasymov, a member of the Kazakh parliament's upper chamber, the Senate, said Obama's victory will secure U.S. investments in Kazakhstan and the continuation of Washington's unchanged policies toward Central Asia.

'A Year Of Democrats'

In the Caucasus, Georgia's new prime minister said he expected his country's ties with the United States to "deepen" during Obama's second term.

Speaking in Tbilisi on November 7, Bidzina Ivanishvili referred to the recent election win of the Georgian Dream coalition and called 2012 "a year of democrats."

Ivanishvili, whose coalition defeated the ruling party of President Mikheil Saakashvili in parliamentary elections last month, also called the United States Georgia's "greatest friend."

Nodar Khaduri, Georgia's newly appointed finance minister, said it was important for his country to maintain strong ties with the United States "no matter who wins."

Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian sent his “warmest congratulations and best wishes” to Obama. In a letter, Sarkisian said Obama’s "impressive victory has proven that the course taken by you for moving the United States forward, your domestic and international policy meet the expectations of the overwhelming majority of the American people."

Sarkisian also expressed confidence that during the four years of Obama’s second term, "our multifaceted cooperation will yield new impressive results for the mutual benefit of our peoples."

In Azerbaijan, the opposition tentatively welcomed Obama's reelection. Isa Qambar of the Musavat party told RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service that continuity was welcome even if the election meant no shift in U.S. policy on Azerbaijan.

Blogger Emin Milli, who spent 17 months in prison for criticizing the government in Baku, said he did not expect Obama to adopt a more critical stance on autocratic President Ilham Aliyev.

"There are big money and security issues here," he said. "Therefore, I do not expect any changes in the U.S. policy towards our country and the region."

Stanislau Shushkevich, the first leader of post-Soviet Belarus, said Obama's return to the White House would have little impact on U.S.-Belarus relations. Shushkevich said he had been hoping for a win by Romney.

He described Obama as a "good populist" but said the U.S. leader was unlikely to alter his stance on Belarus during his second term.

Shushkevich, who served as the first leader of independent Belarus from 1991-94, is a vocal critic of the country's autocratic leader, Alyaksandr Lukashenka, and says the West is not doing enough to press the regime in Minsk for reforms.

With reporting by dpa, RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan, AFP, ITAR-TASS, RFE/RL's Belarus Service, RFE/RL's Moldovan Service, RFE/RL's Radio Free Iraq, RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service, RFE/RL's Armenian Service, RFE/RL's Georgian Service, and RFE/RL's Kazakh Service

Source: http://www.rferl.org/content/eu-hosts-second-serbia-kosovo-meeting/24763376.html

Copyright (c) 2012. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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