The Return of American Idealism: Political Reaction to Obama’s Win

Reaction to Obama’s win from politicians across the world:
UKRAINE: “Your victory is an inspiration for us. That which appeared impossible has become possible.” – Youlia Tymoshenko, Prime Minister
MALI: “The United States has given a lesson, a lesson in maturity and a lesson in democracy.” – Amadou Toure, President
ITALY: “Europe which is celebrating (the victory of) Obama must know that Europe be will be called on to be a producer of security and no longer merely a consumer. I think Obama will rightly call on us to take our responsibilities more seriously.” – Franco Frattini, Foreign Minister
BRAZIL: “In this case hope has won over prejudice — this is good for the United States and the world as a whole.” – Celso Amorin, Foreign Minister
RUSSIA: “The news we are receiving on the results of the American presidential election shows that everyone has the right to hope for a freshening of U.S. approaches to all the most complex issues, including foreign policy and therefore relations with the Russian Federation as well.” – Grigory Karasin, Deputy Foreign Minister
IRAQ: “I think you will hear a lot of discussion and goals and slogans during the election campaigns. When there is a reality check I think any U.S. president has to look very hard at the facts on the ground.” – Hoshiyar Zebari, Foreign Minister
ISRAEL: “Israel expects the close strategic cooperation with the new administration, president and Congress will continue along with the continued strengthening of the special and unshakeable special relationship between the two countries.” – Tzipi Livni, Foreign Minister
VATICAN: “Believers are praying that God will enlighten him and help him in his great responsibility, which is enormous because of the global importance of the United States…We hope Obama can fulfil the expectations and hopes that many have in him.” – Rev. Federico Lombardi, spokesman for Pope Benedict
PAKISTAN: “Your election marks a new chapter in the remarkable history of the United States. For long, the ideas of democracy, liberty and freedom espoused by the United States has been a source of inspiration…I hope that under your dynamic leadership, the United States will continue to be a source of global peace and new ideas for humanity.” – Yousaf Raza Gilani, Prime Minister
INDIA: “Your extraordinary journey to the White House will inspire people not only in your country but also around the world.” – Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister
HOLLAND: “The necessity for cooperation between Europe and the United States is bigger than ever. Only by close transatlantic cooperation can we face the world’s challenges.” – Jan Peter Balkenende, Prime Minister
FRANCE: “With the world in turmoil and doubt, the American people, faithful to the values that have always defined America’s identity, have expressed with force their faith in progress and the future. At a time when we must face huge challenges together, your election has raised enormous hope in France, in Europe and beyond.” – Nicolas Sarkozy, President
AFGHANISTAN: “I applaud the American people for their great decision and I hope that this new administration in the United States of America, and the fact of the massive show of concern for human beings and lack of interest in race and color while electing the president, will go a long way in bringing the same values to the rest of world sooner or later.” – Hamid Karzai, President
GREAT BRITAIN: “Barack Obama ran an inspirational campaign, energizing politics with his progressive values and his vision for the future. I know Barack Obama and we share many values. We both have determination to show that government can act to help people fairly through these difficult times facing the global economy.” – Gordon Brown, Prime Minister
KENYA: “We the Kenyan people are immensely proud of your Kenyan roots. Your victory is not only an inspiration to millions of people all over the world, but it has special resonance with us here in Kenya.” – Mwai Kibaki, President
CHINA: “The Chinese Government and I myself have always attached great importance to China-U.S. relations. In the new historic era, I look forward to working together with you to continuously strengthen dialogue and exchanges between our two countries.” – Hu Jintao, President
GERMANY: “I offer you my heartfelt congratulations on your historic victory in the presidential election… The world faces significant challenges at the start of your term. I am convinced that Europe and the United States will work closely and in a spirit of mutual trust together to confront new dangers and risks and will seize the opportunities presented by our global world.” – Angela Merkel, Chancellor
JAPAN: “The Japan-U.S. alliance is key to Japanese diplomacy and it is the foundation for peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. With President-elect Obama, I will strengthen the Japan-U.S. alliance further and work toward resolving global issues such as the world economy, terror and the environment.” – Taro Aso, Prime Minister
SOUTH AFRICA: “Africa, which today stands proud of your achievements, can only but look forward to a fruitful working relationship with you both at a bilateral and multilateral levels in our endeavor to create a better world for all who live in it.” – Kgalema Motlanthe, President
CANADA: “I look forward to meeting with the President-elect so that we can continue to strengthen the special bond that exists between Canada and the United States.” – Stephen Harper, Prime Minister
AUSTRALIA: “Senator Obama’s message of hope is not just for America’s future, it is also a message of hope for the world as well. A world which is now in many respects fearful for its future.” – Kevin Rudd, Prime Minister
NEW ZEALAND: “Senator Obama will be taking office at a critical juncture. There are many pressing challenges facing the international community, including the global financial crisis and global warming. We look forward to working closely with President-elect Obama and his team to address these challenges.” – Helen Clark, Prime Minister
INDONESIA: Indonesia especially hopes that the U.S., under new leadership, will stand in the front and take real action to overcome the global financial crisis, especially since the crisis was triggered by the financial conditions in the U.S.” Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, President
PHILLIPINES: “We welcome his triumph in the same vein that we place the integrity of the US electoral process and the choices made by the American people in high regard. We likewise note the making of history with the election of Senator Obama as the first African-American president of the United States.” – Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, President
IRAN: “The president-elect has promised changes in policies. There is a capacity for the improvement of ties between America and Iran if Obama pursues his campaign promises, including not confronting other countries as Bush did in Iraq and Afghanistan, and also concentrating on America’s state matters and removing the American people’s concerns.” – Ali Aghamohammadi, aide to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY: “We hope the president-elect in the United States will stay the course and would continue the U.S. engagement in the peace process without delay. We hope the two-state vision would be transferred from a vision to a realistic track immediately.” Saeb Erekat, aide to President Mahmoud Abbas
And for a less pompous tone, here are a few statements from ordinary people:
LEBANON: In a Beirut restaurant, Miriam, 28, said her two brothers, both members of the militant Islamic group Hezbollah, saw Mr. Obama as a leader who was willing to take diplomatic risks to avoid military confrontations. “They think Obama will not damage the Middle East the way Bush did, and they were afraid if [John] McCain made it, the whole region would be in danger.”
BRAZIL: In Rio de Janeiro, documentary filmmaker Ryan Steers said Mr. Obama could improve the U.S. image abroad. “Obama is someone the world can trust. That is the most important thing for America right now: regaining its trust in the world community.”
KENYA: People danced in the streets in Mr. Obama’s ancestral village of Kogelo, and President Mwai Kibaki declared Thursday a national holiday. In Nairobi’s Kibera shantytown, carpenter Joseph Ochieng said, “If it were possible for me to get to the United States on my bicycle, I would.”
JAPAN: “Americans overcame the racial divide and elected Obama,” said Terumi Hino, a photographer and painter in Tokyo. “I think this means the United States can go back to being admired as the country of dreams.

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