Barack Obama’s election as America’s 44th president has “unleashed a renewed love for the United States after years of dwindling goodwill.” Reaction from around the world has been overwhelmingly positive, with many expressing “amazement and satisfaction that the United States could overcome centuries of racial strife and elect an African-American as president.” Indeed, one British newspaper echoed a famous phase from the 1960s, describing Obama’s election as “one giant leap for mankind.”
Leaders around the world have also expressed optimism about future relations with President Obama and the United States. European Union officials hailed Obama’s victory “as an opportunity to renew a tenuous trans-Atlantic relationship and join forces in ‘a new deal for a new world’” while Asian leaders “vowed to work with the new Democratic White House after eight years of Republican rule under George W. Bush.” Many of the world’s Presidents and Prime Ministers offered praise for Obama and the future:
UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown: “I know that the values we share in common and the policies we work on together will enable us, these two countries, to come through these difficult economic times and build a safer and more secure society for the future.”
Spanish PM José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero: Obama’s victory opens “a new era of hope” for America. “This is a triumph which brings hope and confidence for a world which is experiencing moments of difficulty and uncertainty.”
Australian PM Kevin Rudd: “Today what America has done is turn [Martin Luther King's] dream into a reality.”
French President Nicolas Sarkozy: “At a time when all of us must face huge challenges together, [Obama's] election raises great hope in France, in Europe and elsewhere in the world.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel: Obama’s election is “historic.” The German government “is fully aware of the importance and of the worth of our transatlantic partnership.”
Former South African President Nelson Mandela: “Your victory has demonstrated that no person anywhere in the world should not dare to dream of wanting to change the world for a better place.”
President Dmitry Medvedev said Wednesday that Russia will deploy missiles in territory near NATO member Poland in response to U.S. missile defense plans. He did not say whether the short-range Iskander missiles would be fitted with nuclear warheads. [...]
He said he hoped Barack Obama would act to improve relations with Russia but he did not offer congratulations to the president-elect.
Indeed, former French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin noted that Obama’s biggest challenge would be managing a punishing agenda of various crises in the U.S. and around the world. “He will need to fight on every front,” he said.
During the Prime Minister’s question time in Britain today, David Cameron, leader of the conservative party, crossed ideological lines and said Obama’s victory proves the U.S. is again “a beacon of hope” and “change”:
CAMERON: Can I also join the Prime Minister in congratulating Barack Obama on his stunning victory in American elections. … This is a really important moment, to gone from the horror of segregation to the election of a black president in just four decades is an incredible transformation. And it shows that the United States is a beacon of hope and opportunity and change.