(AP)—President Barack Obama’s re-election in the United States elicited strong feelings—from optimism to skepticism—around the world. A sampling of global reaction:
“As a mother and as a grandmother who raises boy children, I think that the symbolism of having a Black man occupy the highest office is something that can make my children very aspirational to know that this is possible, you know, in their lifetime.”—Zindzi Mandela, daughter of former South African President Nelson Mandela
|WORLD WATCHES—Indian students react to results on television networks during an event organized by the U.S. embassy at the landmark Imperial Hotel in New Delhi, India, Nov. 7. (AP Photo Kevin Frayer)
“One of the first things I want to talk to Barack about is how we must do more to try and solve this crisis (in Syria). Above all, congratulations to Barack. I’ve enjoyed working with him, I think he’s a very successful U.S. president and I look forward to working with him in the future.”— British Prime Minister David Cameron, on a visit to Syrian refugees on the Jordanian border.
“Your re-election is a clear choice in favor of an America that is open, unified, completely engaged in the international scene and conscious of the challenges facing our planet: peace, the economy and the environment.”—French President Francois Hollande.
Pope Benedict XVI sent a message to Obama expressing hope that “ideals of liberty and justice, which guided the founders of the U.S.A., may continue to shine on the road ahead for the nation.”—Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi.
“When you were elected in 2008, you inspired the world with a call to take responsibility for the problems we face as global citizens. Since then, you have made earnest efforts to live up to that great hope and trust placed in you by the American public. I believe you have been re-elected now in recognition of that effort.”—the Dalai Lama.
The United Nations said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon “warmly congratulates” Obama on his victory and looks forward to continuing to work with his administration on the many global challenges ahead that range “from ending the bloodshed in Syria, to getting the Middle East peace process back on track, to promoting sustainable development and tackling the challenges posed by climate change.”
“The bond between Europe and North America, based upon the shared values on which our alliance was founded over 60 years ago, remains as strong, and as important to the preservation of Euro-Atlantic peace and security, as ever. President Obama has demonstrated outstanding leadership in maintaining this vital bond.”—NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.
“I will continue to work with President Obama to preserve the strategic interests of Israel’s citizens.”—Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has had a strained relationship with the American president over Iran and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“During the last four years when Obama was U.S. president, no breakthrough happened in relations between Iran and the U.S. At the beginning of his first term the situation was a bit better, but as he went on the relations got much worse, with the sanctions being imposed. So I think the outcome of the election that was just held will not make any difference for Iran.”—Amir Karimi, a resident of the Iranian capital, Tehran.
“If both parties try to overcome the accumulated distrust and turn over a new leaf, if America comes to realize that it needs to work with Vladimir Putin instead of thinking that it doesn’t like the Russia that we live in, then we could achieve results.”—Alexei Pushkov, chairman of the Russian Duma’s foreign affairs committee, calling for a new start to U.S.-Russia relations.
“Sandy was a climate change warning. Obama must now take the stage and fulfill the promise of hope the world needs.”—Kumi Naidoo, international executive director of Greenpeace.
The trust that the American people wanted to renew in you will allow the international community, Europe and Italy to benefit from your leadership without interruptions. … With your confirmation at the White House, Italy knows it can count on a strong and united America.”—Italian Premier Mario Monti.
“I think Obama is a man eminently capable of building bridges between the Democrats and Republicans. And if you look at the challenges ahead for America—bringing down unemployment, getting the economy going again, strengthening the political and trade relationships with Europe and Asia—there are plenty of reasons to do so.”—Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.
“Many congratulations to Barack Obama on his victory. Looking forward to renewing our claim to America’s unpaid Congestion Charge bill!”—London Mayor Boris Johnson on Twitter, getting in a dig about a long-running dispute between the city and the U.S. Embassy over millions of dollars in road-use fees.