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9 Nov, 2016 08:09

‘Congratulations’ vs ‘shock’: World leaders & politicians react to US election result

Politicians all over the world are reacting as Donald Trump has become president-elect of the United States. Some are congratulating him, while others are in shock.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has become one of the first global leaders to  Trump with the victory, expressing hope that the two countries will continue collaborative work on international issues.

Japan's Prime Minister Abe congratulated Donald Trump on his victory in the presidential election and described the alliance between the two countries as “unwavering,” .

“I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations on your election as the next President of the United States of America.

Japan and the United States are unwavering allies tied firmly with the bond of universal values [...]

I very much look forward to closely cooperating with you to further strengthen the bond of the Japan-US Alliance, as well as for our two countries to play leading roles for assuring peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region,” he stated in the to Trump.

Shinzo Abe will be sending his special adviser, Katsuyuki Kawai, to the United States shortly “to build confidence” with the new White House administration, as cited by RIA Novosti news agency.

The United States is our most important ally. It is crucial we create a relationship of trust with the new administration as soon as possible,” Kawai told reporters on Wednesday. Earlier, Secretary-General of the Japanese Government Yoshihide Suga said that regardless of who wins the US election, the policy of mutual cooperation between the two states will remain unchanged.

In his message to Donald Trump, Chinese President Xi Jinping said the two biggest economies in the world, China and the United States, shared responsibility for promoting global development and prosperity.

“I place great importance on the China-US relationship, and look forward to working with you to uphold the principles of non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation,” Xi said, as cited by Reuters.

World leaders ‘cautious,’ but ‘ready to cooperate’

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven said he would prefer to see Hillary Clinton in the White House, but declared his readiness to work with Trump as well.

I think the election result will make many individuals, as well as the market, worried. At the same time it is a situation to which we are well prepared. I would have preferred Hillary Clinton to win for a number of reasons. However, Sweden will do everything possible to retain good relations with the United States, no matter who is the president,” he told SVT channel, noting also his concern with the “prevailing political climate of hate” in the United States.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel congratulated Donald Trump and offered to work closely with him, noting that “Germany and America are bound together by values – democracy, freedom, respecting the rule of law, people’s dignity regardless of their origin, the colour of their skin, religion, gender, sexual orientation or political views.”

On the basis of these values, I am offering to work closely with the future President of the United States Donald Trump,” she said, as cited by Reuters, adding that working with the United States will remain a key part of Germany’s foreign policy.

German Vice-Chancellor and Minister of Economy and Energy Sigmar Gabriel, however, called Trump’s victory a warning for Germany and Europe.

Trump is the pioneer of a new authoritarian and chauvinist international movement. He is also a warning for us,” Gabriel told German newspaper group Funke Mediengruppe, as cited by Reuters.

German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said the news is a “huge shock” while speaking on German TV.

In France, Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault has said that the election results mustn’t weaken relations between Europe and the US, and assured that France remains an ally of the US, and will have to see what the new president’s policies will be.

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who had previously openly supported Hillary Clinton, congratulated Donald Trump and gave assurances that Italy's ties with the United States remain strong.

“I wish him well. The Italo-American friendship is solid,” Renzi said at the start of a speech in Rome.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May expressed readiness to work with Donald Trump “building ties to ensure the security and prosperity of our nations.”  

Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström also noted that the election results left her worried, especially due to some of Trump’s controversial statements, like the ones regarding the construction of a wall between the United States and Mexico.

But Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban responded to Trump’s victory with the words “what a great news. Democracy is still alive,” posted on his Facebook page.

Austria will remain a “bridge builder” between the East and West and is ready to cooperate with any head of state chosen by the American people, Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz said.

We are a ‘bridge builder’ and the country in which both the East and the West are well represented. We will continue with this course. We will accept any result of the election and will continue to strive for joint work with the United States,” Kurtz said on radio OE1, as cited by RIA Novosti news agency. He also compared the results of the US election with the Brexit vote.

Prior to the announcement of the results of the referendum I went to bed in firm belief that the British will remain in the EU, yesterday I went to bed with the thought that Clinton will win.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said in a statement that he “congratulates the elected American president, Donald Trump, and hopes that peace will be achieved during his term,” as cited by AP.

Indian Prime Minister Narenda Modi also congratulated Trump, tweeting he is “looking forward to working with [Trump] closely to take India-US bilateral ties to a new height.

Australia’s foreign minister, Julie Bishop, said her government is ready to work with “whomever the American people in their wisdom choose to be their president.” She noted that the US administration “will have a number of challenges, particularly in our region, and we want to work constructively with the new administration to ensure the continued presence and leadership of the United States in our region.”

One of America’s top allies in the Pacific, South Korea, said that they would expect the US to go on with the policy of pressuring North Korea.

Ankara, meanwhile, wants US policy under Donald Trump to recognize the strategic importance of Turkey and its main priority as an effective force fighting against terrorism, according to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin.

Speaking on Turkish broadcaster A Haber, he noted that Trump's comments in the aftermath of the failed military coup on July 15 were sympathetic to the Turkish government.

‘Establishment punished by voters’: Far-right leaders express their glee

The leader of the French “National front” party, Marine le Pen, has congratulated Trump on his win over Twitter, posting, “Congratulations to the new US president Donald Trump and the free American people!”

Austria’s far-right Freedom Party (FPO) leader Heinz-Christian Strache said Trump’s victory in the election is the righteous punishment for the corrupt establishment.
The political left as well as the aloof and sleazy establishment are being punished by voters and voted out of various decision-making positions,” Strache said on Facebook. His party is hopeful its own anti-immigrant and EU-critical candidate Norbert Hofer will become the European Union’s first far-right head of state on December 4.

Nigel Farage, UK Independence Party leader, who was a figurehead in Britain’s exit from the European Union, congratulated Trump for his “supersized Brexit victory.

The nation state is back. 2016 is the year that people voted for change and to take back control of their lives. The Trump victory is like a supersized Brexit,” he said in a statement on Wednesday, as cited by Reuters. Earlier he said he would accept a job from Donald Trump if the latter became president.