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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

World reacts to Obama's victory

Gholam Ali Hadad

Iran's official news agency quoted a leading politician as saying that Obama's election win was a rejection of the policies of George Bush, the current US president.
"Obama's victory is... evidence that Bush's policies have failed," Gholam Ali Haddad Adel said, according to IRNA. "Americans have no option but to change their policies to save themselves from the quagmire Bush has created for them." The government daily newspaper Iran said in an editorial on Wednesday that McCain's failure to take the presidency lay with Bush. "Defeat for the Republicans is the price they pay for Bush's strategic and tactical blunders," the newspaper said. Mohammad Hasan Aboutorabi-Fard, Iran's deputy parliament speaker, called on Obama to make good on his promises to bring change. "Obama is expected to learn from Bush's failed policies and correct America's wrong policies in the Middle East," IRNA quoted him as saying.

Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, congratulated Obama and urged him to speed up efforts to reach an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement. "President Abbas congratulates US president-elect Barack Obama in his name and in the name of the Palestinian people and hopes he will speed up efforts to achieve peace, particularly since a resolution of the Palestinian problem and the Israeli-Arab conflict is key to world peace," Nabil Abu Rudeina, Abbas's spokesman, said. "President Abbas hopes the new administration will continue to make the peace efforts one of its top priorities." Meanwhile, Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, urged Obama to learn from the "mistakes" of previous US administrations in dealing with the Muslim and Arab worlds. "He must learn from the mistakes of the previous administrations, including that of Bush which has destroyed Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine," said Fawzi Barhum, a Hamas spokesman. "He must improve US ties with the rest of the world rather than wave the big American stick. "We want him to support the Palestinian cause or at least not to be biased towards the Israeli occupation. We have no problem establishing normal relations with the United States to explain our just cause." Ahmed Youssef, a Hamas senior political member, hailed the vote as historic.
"We [Hamas] do believe that if America's political equilibrium is to be restored, this political election should be the turning point. We hope that Obama will address the Palestinian issue in a fair and honest way. The Palestinian question is the mother of all issues in the region – it concerns 1.5 billion Muslims all over the world. "During the political campaign in the US, people used a lot of rhetoric … Obama said a lot of things to please the Jewish community, looking for their votes and money. We understand that. But all that rhetoric will be changed because looking at the list of Obama's advisers, I believe that they have a better understanding of the conflict in the region."

Mohsen Bilal, Syria's information minister, said on Wednesday that Damascus hopes Obama's election will lead to changes in US foreign policies in the Middle East and boost the prospect of regional peace. Bilal said he hoped Obama's win "will help change US policy from one of wars and embargos to one of diplomacy and dialogue," the Syrian news agency SANA reported.

Kgalema Motlanthe, South Africa's president, congratulated Obama on his presidential victory, saying Africa "stood proud" and looked forward to a fruitful working relationship. "Your election ... carries with it hope for millions of your countrymen and women as much as it is for millions of people of ... African descent both in the continent of Africa as well as those in the diaspora," he said.
Nelson Mandela, South Africa's first black leader, also congratualted Obama, saying that Obama's election as US president showed that anybody could dream to change the world. "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," Mandela wrote in a letter to Obama. The 90-year-old Mandela applauded Obama's commitment to support global peace and said he trusted that combatting poverty and disease would become the mission of Obama's presidency. "We wish you strength and fortitude in the challenging days and years that lie ahead," said Mandela. "We are sure you will ultimately achieve your dream [of] making the United States of America a full partner in a community of nations committed to peace and prosperity for all."

Khartoum expressed hope that Obama's election win would mean "real change" for the country's strained relations with the US - America has branded Sundan as a "state sponsor of terrorism". "The result of the election is a purely domestic affair, but certainly the United States, being the only big power in the world, it affects almost everything in other countries," said Ali al-Sadiq, a spokesman for Sudan's foreign ministry. "We would hope that the slogan of president Obama - 'change' - would be reflected in the foreign policy in the United States, especially towards Sudan and oppressed countries, the Palestinians, the Iraqis and the Somalis.
"We would like to see some real change between Sudan and the United States."

Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, the president of transitional Somali government, voiced hope that Obama would help end conflict in the world. "I am congratulating Barack Obama for his election as the president of United States of America," Yusuf said in a statement released by his spokesman. "I am hopeful that he will help end major crises in the world, particulary the endless conflict in my country Somalia. This was an historic election in which a proper leader was elected. This is a great moment for America and Africa."

Hu Jintao, China's president, congratulated Obama on his victory in the US presidential poll, saying a closer relationship btween the two nations would be "for the benefit of Chinese and American people, and people around the world".
"In a new historical era, I look forward to ... taking our bilateral relationship of constructive co-operation to a new level," Hu said in a written message, according to a statement on the Chinese foreign ministry's website.
Wen Jiabao, China's prime minister, also congratulated Obama, while Xi Jinping, the vice-president, sent a message of congratulations to Joe Biden, Obama's running mate and America's next vice-president.

Jose Manuel Barroso, president of the European Comimission, applauded Obama's victory, with Barroso calling for a "new deal". "This is a time for a renewed commitment between Europe and the United States of America," Barroso said in a statement. "We need to change the current crisis into a new opportunity. We need a new deal for a new world." "I sincerely hope that with the leadership of President Obama, the United States of America will join forces with Europe to drive this new deal. For the benefit of our societies, for the benefit of the world."
Source : Aljazeera

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