Victory of billionaire populist Donald Trump in US presidential election elicits global reactions

November 9, 2016 6:32 pm

President-elect Donald Trump delivers his acceptance speech at the New York Hilton Midtown, in New York City, November 9, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

The victory of billionaire populist Donald J. Trump in the is prompting responses from politicians worldwide, ranging from messages of congratulation to tacit expressions of discomfort.
Trump won more than 270 electoral votes in the 2016 presidential election on Wednesday, enough to make him the 45th president of even as vote counting continued in a number of states.
His rise to the presidency wildly contrasted most forecasts within the , which had projected a strong win by his rival, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
A former secretary of state and first lady, Clinton was one of the first people to congratulate Trump on Wednesday.
Iran reacts
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the Islamic Republic would make no changes to its policies in the wake of Trump’s win.
“The position of the United States has been weakened within the international community and in the world’s public opinion as a result of wrongful policies, and a wider gap with the global community and Europe will further harm that position,” President Rouhani said on Wednesday, referring to the potential prospect of a Trump presidency distancing the US from the world.
Speaking during a visit to Romania on Wednesday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the Islamic Republic expected the US president-elect to honor a nuclear deal negotiated with Iran under the outgoing US administration.
“It is our norm not to interfere in the domestic affairs of other countries,” Foreign Minister Zarif said, commenting on Trump’s win.
“Since Iran and the US have no political relations, what is important is that America’s next president is bound by the multilateral commitments of the JCPOA,” he said, referring to the nuclear deal. “We are certain the international community would expect the same thing from the United States of America.”
The agreement was struck between Iran on the one side and the US, France, China, Britain, Russia, and Germany on the other in June 2015.
Trump has previously slammed the deal, threatening that he would renegotiate its terms.
In practice, however, the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), runs little risk of being scrapped out of hand by any level-headed American government as it has been endorsed by a United Nations Security Council resolution, meaning that it has effectively become international law.
Zarif said the president of the US should “grasp the realities of the world today and connect his policies with those realities.”
Amnesty raps Trump’s “poisonous rhetoric”
Also on Wednesday, the prominent international rights organization, Amnesty International, urged US president-elect to commit to upholding human rights, while criticizing his “poisonous rhetoric.”
Trump has “raised serious concerns about the strength of commitment we can expect to see from the United States towards human rights in the future,” said Salil Shetty, secretary general of the London-based group.
Shetty added, “He must now put this behind him and both reaffirm and abide by the United States’ obligations on human rights, at home and abroad.”
Meanwhile, executive director of Amnesty International USA, Margaret Huang, slammed Trump for using “disturbing and, at times, poisonous rhetoric” during his election campaign.
“This rhetoric cannot and must not become government policy. The xenophobic, sexist and other hateful remarks made by Trump have no place in government…. From internment camps to the use of torture, we have seen disastrous results when those we elect to represent us flout the United States’ obligations to uphold human rights,” she added.
Russia ‘hopes for joint work’
Separately, Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated Trump in a message on Wednesday, the Kremlin said in a statement.
“Putin expressed hope for joint work to restore Russian-American relations from their state of crisis, and also to address pressing international issues and search for effective responses to challenges concerning global security,” according to the statement.
Outgoing US President Barack Obama has had cold relations with the Russian head of state. The two leaders differed over a number of issues, prominently the Ukrainian and Syrian crises.
However, during his presidential campaign, Trump had repeatedly praised Putin and voiced willingness to work with him.
China ‘highly values’ US relations
The Chinese president also congratulated Trump on his election win, saying he looked forward to working with as the US president.
“I highly value China-US relations, and look forward to working together with you, and holding fast to mutual respect and non-conflict, non-confrontation,” China’s CCTV quoted President Xi Jinping as saying in a congratulatory message to Trump on Wednesday.
The two countries have an important responsibility to promote global prosperity and safeguard world peace and stability, the CCTV report said.
“Developing longterm stable and healthy Sino-US relations in accordance with the benefit of both countries’ peoples is also the international community’s common expectation,” it added.
‘Not what most Germans wanted’
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday congratulated Trump on his election victory and offered to work closely with him on the basis of common values.
“Germany and America are bound together by values — democracy, freedom, respecting the rule of law, people’s dignity regardless of their origin, the color of their skin, religion, gender, sexual orientation or political views,” Merkel said.
“On the basis of these values, I am offering to work closely with the future president of the United States Donald Trump,” she added.
Germany’s Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said his country respected the outcome of the US presidential election even though it was not favored by most Germans.
“The result is not to be underestimated. The result is different from what most people in Germany desired. But of course, we have to accept it,” Steinmeier said.
German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen also described Trump’s victory as a “huge shock,” saying the election result was “not a vote for him but rather against Washington, against the establishment.”
“It was a big shock when I saw the way things are heading,” she said.
Trump has previously upset the German leadership, strong believers in the military power of NATO, by saying that in the event of a military confrontation between NATO members and Russia, American aid would not be forthcoming unless the members of the alliance pay up for Washington’s support .
Reacting to of Trump’s win earlier in the day, a senior member of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative party described the American president-elect as “the voice of anger.”
“We’re realizing now that we have no idea what this American president will do if the voice of anger enters office and the voice of anger becomes the most powerful man in the world,” said Norbert Roettgen, who is a member of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the head of the German parliament’s foreign affairs committee.
NATO speaks well of ‘American leadership’
NATO’s Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg attempted to strike a softer tone, saying the leadership of the US is “as important as ever” for the military alliance.
He said NATO is looking forward to working with the new American president.
France urges ‘European unity’
French President Francois Hollande said Trump’s victory showed that France must be stronger and that Europe must be united.
“I congratulate him as is natural between two democratic heads of state,” said Hollande.
“This American election opens a period of uncertainty,” he added, however. France would be vigilant and frank in its talks with the new US administration on international issues, he said.
Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault of France also said Trump’s personality traits “raised concern.”
Ayrault said Trump had to clarify his position on key foreign policy issues, including the nuclear deal with Iran, the long-running conflict in Syria, and climate change.
Marine Le Pen, the French far-right National Front party leader, however, congratulated Trump “and… the free American people!”
Iraq hopes for ‘continued US support’
The Iraqi prime minister’s office issued a statement, congratulating Trump “on the occasion of his victory in the American presidential election,” and expressing hope for continued US and international support in the Arab country’s war against terror.
“We look forward to the continued support of the world and the United States in standing with Iraq in its confrontation with terrorism,” Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said in the statement.
Iraqi President Fuad Masum and other senior Iraqi officials, including Parliament Speaker Salim al-Juburi and leaders of the country’s Kurdistan region, also congratulated Trump on his election win.
After months of preparation, Iraqi army soldiers, backed by volunteer fighters and Kurdish Peshmerga forces, launched an operation on October 17 to retake the strategic city of Mosul from the Daesh terrorists, who overran the city in 2014, the year the Takfiris began their campaign of death and destruction in northern and western Iraq.
Abadi has vowed that the country’s second largest city will be fully recaptured by year-end.
Saudi hopes to see ‘stability’ in ME after Trump’s election
Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud said Trump had a “mission to achieve security and stability in the Middle East and worldwide,” and wished his “excellency success” in accomplishing his mission.
In a message of congratulations carried by the official Saudi Press Agency, he also hailed the two “friendly” countries’ relations as “historic and tight”, adding that “all parties aspire to develop and reinforce” the existing ties.
Trump had earlier suggested that the United States should consider ditching Riyadh, because Washington was increasingly getting less dependent on the Saudi oil.
“The primary reason we are with Saudi Arabia is because we need the oil,” Trump said in an interview last year. “Now, we don’t need the oil so much.”
Palestine ‘expects consistency’
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas expressed hope that peace “will be achieved” during Trump’s presidency, after congratulating his victory in the election.
Saeb Erekat, an aide to Abbas, said he did not expect a change in US policies over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict under Trump.
He said both Republican and Democratic parties in the US were committed to the so-called two-state solution for the conflict and that he though “this will not change with the coming administration.”
The Palestinians are seeking to create an independent state on the territories of the West Bank, East al-Quds and the Gaza Strip, with East al-Quds as the capital. They are also demanding that Israel withdraw from the Palestinian lands occupied in a 1967 war.
Israel ‘must kill idea of Palestinian state’ under Trump
Meanwhile, an Israeli minister said that Tel Aviv should take the advantage of with Trump’s presidency and put an end to the idea of an independent Palestinian state.
“Trump’s victory is an opportunity for Israel to immediately retract the notion of a Palestinian state,” said extremist Education Minister Naftali Bennett.
“This is the position of the president-elect,” he claimed, adding, “The era of a Palestinian state is over.”
Turkey ‘hopes Mideast will benefit’
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he hoped the election of Trump would prove “beneficial” to the Middle East.
“I hope that this choice of the American people will lead to beneficial steps being taken for the world concerning basic rights and freedoms, democracy and developments in our region,” Erdogan said in a speech in Istanbul.
Turkey’s Justice Minister Bekiz Bozdag also expressed hope on Wednesday that “under the new presidential term, the Turkish-US relations will be much better. That is our expectation.”
Ankara has been dissatisfied with the outgoing US administration because of the latter’s refusal to extradite a Turkish opposition cleric based in the US back to Turkey. Fethullah Gullen, the cleric, is wanted by Ankara over the accusation that he masterminded a failed coup in Turkey back in July.
‘Mexico, US allies’
Mexican President Pena Nieto, who was criticized for hosting Trump in Mexico in August, said he was ready to work with the business mogul to develop bilateral relations.
“Mexico and the United States are friends, partners and allies and we should keep collaborating for the competitiveness and development of North America,” the Mexican president said on his Twitter account.
Trump has repeatedly called Mexican immigrants “rapists” and pledged to build a wall along the southern border to prevent more Mexicans from entering the US illegally. He has also vowed to force Mexico to cover the cost of the construction of his proposed wall.
The US president-elect has also threatened to scrap the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which has boosted the level of US trade with Mexico and Canada.
Meanwhile, the Mexican foreign minister said his country would not pay for the Trump-proposed wall.
“Paying for a wall is not part of our vision,” Foreign Minister Claudia Ruiz Massieu told local media, adding, “There has been a fluid, daily communication with different members of the [Trump] campaign” since his visit to Mexico in August.
Japan seeks continued alliance
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expressed “heartfelt congratulations” on Trump’s election, saying the two countries are “unshakeable allies connected by common values such as freedom, democracy, basic human rights and rule of law.”
“The stability of the Asia-Pacific region, which is the driving force of the global economy, brings peace and prosperity to the United States,” Abe added.
Japan has relied on consistent US support in a regional dispute involving China and territory in the East China Sea.
Canada wants “to work closely” with Trump
Later on Wednesday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued a congratulatory message addressed at Donald Trump, felicitating him on winning the US presidential race.
Stressing his country’s willingness to have close friendship and ties with the US, Trudeau said he looked forward to working very closely with Trump and his administration on matters of trade, investment, international peace and security.
Ukraine: We hope Washington would continue to support Kiev
Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko expressed hope that the United States would continue to support his country in its standoff with Russia following the victory of Donald Trump as the United States’ 45th president.
A statement released by Poroshenko’s office said Ukraine expected Trump administration to continue Washington’s support for Kiev in what it called the fight against Russia, and with regard to Ukrainian government’s effort to implement reforms in the country.
Czech president says “very happy” with Trump’s victory
Czech President Milos Zeman announced on Wednesday that he was “very happy” with Donald Trump’s victory in US presidential election.
Zeman added, “I would like to cordially congratulate Donald Trump. I had, as one of few European politicians, declared public support for this candidate… because I agree with his opinions on migration as well as the fight against … terrorism.”
The Czech president further noted, “I appreciate Donald Trump’s public demeanor, he speaks clearly, sometimes roughly, but understandably, and avoids what is sometimes called political correctness.”
WTO says ready to work with Trump
In another development, the head of the World Trade Organization also announced on Wednesday that he was ready to work with Trump’s administration following his election win.
“Congratulations to President-elect @realDonaldTrump on his victory. The WTO stands ready to work with the new administration,” Roberto Azevedo, director general of the Geneva-based WTO said on Twitter.
UN counts on Trump for advancing human rights: Ban
Later on Wednesday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the world body will count on new US administration to help combat climate change and advance human rights worldwide.
Congratulating Donald Trump on his election win, Ban said, “The United Nations will count on the new administration to strengthen the bonds of international cooperation as we strive together to uphold shared ideals, combat climate change, advance human rights.”
He added, “People everywhere look to the United States to use its remarkable power to help lift humanity up and to work for the common good.”
EU leaders warn US against isolation
The European Union’s leaders on Wednesday invited US President-elect to their forthcoming summit, warning Washington against adopting policies that would lead to its isolation.
“I do not believe that any country today can be great in isolation,” European Council chief, Donald Tusk, told reporters in Brussels, in a clear reference to Trump’s campaign slogan of “Make America Great Again.”
He added, “Europe and the United States simply have no option but to cooperate as closely as possible.”
Tusk and European Commission chief, Jean-Claude Juncker, also said in a letter to Trump that they were willing to discuss “unprecedented challenges” facing the world and Europe, including terrorism, the conflict in Ukraine, and trouble in EU’s relations with the United States.
“We would take this opportunity to invite you to visit Europe for an EU-US summit at your earliest convenience. This conversation would allow for us to chart the course of our relations for the next four years,” they said in the letter.
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