November 5th, 2008
07:10 AM ET
3 years ago

World leaders congratulate Obama

 Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was among many world leaders to congratulate Obama.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was among many world leaders to congratulate Obama.

(CNN) – World leaders rushed to congratulate Democrat Barack Obama on Wednesday following his historic win in the 2008 U.S. presidential election. The following are their statements on the president-elect.

Chinese President Hu Jintao:
"The Chinese government and I have always attached great importance to the Sino-U.S. relations. In the new historical period, I look forward to endeavor together with you ... to continue to strengthen the dialogue and communication between the two countries, to enhance mutual trust and cooperation, to push the Sino-U.S. constructive cooperation relations to a new level, in order to better benefit the two people and the peoples of the world."

Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao:
"The good relationship between China and the United States is the shared hope of people of the two countries, it is also needed in the safeguarding of the peace, stability and prosperity of Asia-Pacific region and the world.

"... Through the common endeavor of both countries, the constructive cooperation relationship between China and the United States will definitely acquire new development."

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown:
"I would like to offer my sincere congratulations to Barack Obama on winning the presidency of the United States. I would also like to pay tribute to Senator McCain who fought a good campaign and has shown the characteristic dignity that has marked a lifetime of service to his country.

"The relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom is vital to our prosperity and security. Barack Obama ran an inspirational campaign, energizing politics with his progressive values and his vision for the future. I know Barack Obama and we share many values. We both have determination to show that government can act to help people fairly through these difficult times facing the global economy. And I look forward to working extremely closely with him in the coming months and years."

Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga:
"The significance of this victory will resonate with hundreds of millions of people around the world. It is indeed time for global renewal.

"The strong message of hope and a vision of a world united in dealing with global challenges delivered by the president-elect in his campaigns is admirable, timely and welcome. The perseverance and endurance that the president-elect has shown during his campaigns is an inspiration to the world.

"The people of Kenya wish the president-elect and the people of America every success in their endeavors in the years to come. There can be no doubt that America is indeed 'a nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. '"

German Chancellor Angela Merkel:
"My sincere congratulations on your historic victory in the presidential election.

"The world faces meaningful challenges at the start of your term in office. I'm convinced that through a close and trusting cooperation between the United States and Europe we will be able to confront new risks and challenges in a decisive manner and will be able to take advantage of the numerous opportunities that are opening up in our world. Rest assured that my government appreciates hugely the meaning and value of the trans-Atlantic relationship for our common future.

"I remember with pleasure our conversation during your visit to Germany last July and look forward to working together with you in the future."

Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh:
"The Iraqi government has a true desire to work and cooperate with the elected president for the best interest of the two countries to spread security and ensure Iraq's full sovereignty in a way that this will guarantee the interest of Iraqi people."

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert:
"Once again, America has proven that it is, indeed, the greatest democracy and constitutes an example for all other democracies in the world. President-elect Obama has proven his leadership and his talents to the entire world.

"... The special Israel-U.S. relationship is based on shared values and interests and is characterized by ties of close cooperation. Israel and the United States have a common desire to advance peace and stability in the Middle East. We have no doubt that the special relations that prevail between the two countries will continue to strengthen during the Obama administration."

Israeli President Shimon Peres:
"It was an American election and a worldwide choice.

"... I want to congratulate the newly-elected president: young, fresh, promising, representing a change and introducing change. The changes that I can mention - it is an opportunity to escape the present world crisis and enter into a new era of cooperation, of productive economy and of human solidarity. In a way, it is an end of racism. There is no longer any way that any white man can claim superiority, nor any black person feel discrimination. We are the same people, and this election is a great statement to that effect.

"... I also have the utmost respect for the other candidate, John McCain, who fought with great courage and stamina.

"... When President Obama was here, he asked me what he can do for Israel. My answer was: Be a great president of the United States of America. If you will be a great president of the United States of America, you will have great promise for Israel as well, and for all of the region and for all of our neighbors. Nobody should look at whose side the president is on - he just has to be on the side of peace. And if he will be on the side of peace, peace will come closer and more possible."

Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat:
Erakat said Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas congratulates Obama.

"We think that America is united behind the two-state solution and we hope that President-elect Obama will continue the engagement immediately and that he will transfer the vision of two states from a vision to a realistic political track," Erakat said.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso:
"This is a time for a renewed commitment between Europe and the United States of America.

"I want to assure Senator Obama of the support of the European Commission and of my personal support in forging this renewed commitment to face together the many challenges ahead of us.

"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."

European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana:
"I think like every election, it means renewal. The ticket on which Barack Obama has run, this ticket for change - change is what we need in the world today. Many problems we have on the table, and I very much hope that we'll be able to do it together - to find a solution to them together, between the European Union and the United States.

"... I would also like to say that it will not be enough to have the European Union and the United States together. The problems of today we'll need also to incorporate other main players. I think about China, I think about the organization like the African Union and many others.

"Therefore, we have a very important day, a historical day and hope very much that the Europeans will be together also to make the utmost of this important moment."

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh:
"I have great pleasure in conveying my heartiest congratulations on your election as the president of the United States. Your extraordinary journey to the White House will inspire people not only in your country but also around the world.

"The people of India and the United States are bound by their shared commitment to freedom, justice, pluralism, individual rights and democracy. These ideals provide a solid bedrock for friendship and strategic partnership between our two nations. We have strong ties between our peoples and I look forward to working with you to realize the enormous potential for cooperation that exists between India and the United States. Our two countries working together to address global issues and challenges will be an important factor for world peace, stability and progress."

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.

"We note and applaud your commitment to supporting the cause of peace and security around the world. We trust that you will also make it the mission of your presidency to combat the scourge of poverty and disease everywhere.

"We wish you strength and fortitude in the challenging days and years that lie ahead. We are sure you will ultimately achieve your dream making the United States of America a full partner in a community of nations committed to peace and prosperity for all."

Archbishop Desmond Tutu:
"It's an epoch-making event filling the whole world with hope that change is possible. It is just tremendous; it is saying to people of color that for them, the sky is the limit.

"My heartiest congratulations go to Senator Barack Obama and his partner Senator Joe Biden on their victory.

"I also want to congratulate Senator John McCain for his gracious references to Senator Obama in his conceding speech.

"We have a new spring in our walk and our shoulders are straighter. It is almost as when Nelson Mandela became president of South Africa in 1994."

French President Nicolas Sarkozy:
"In choosing you, it's the choice for change, the opening up and the optimism of the American people. While the world is in turmoil and doubt, the American people, loyal to their values that have always been the American identity, forcefully expressed their faith in progress and the future.

"This message from the American people resonates well beyond your borders. In the moment where we must face together immense challenges, your election raises immense hope in France, in Europe, and beyond, throughout the world. This open America, united and strong, will show the way anew, with its partners, by the strength of its example and its adherence to its principles.

"France and Europe, which have always been connected to the United States by ties of history, values, and friendship, will draw a new energy from this to work with America at preserving world peace and stability."

Iran's Deputy Parliament Speaker Mohammad Hossein Abutorabifard:
"Obama can change the defeated Bush policies and in so doing can play an important role in the future relations between the U.S. and Asia and the Middle East.

"... If the United States takes into consideration the realities of the world and chooses suitable policies, America can play its (proper) role in the relations between the United States and the countries of the region and theworld of Islam."

"... It seems that this election has prepared the ground for a revision in the Democrats' and Obama's future policies of the United States."

Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero:
Zapatero congratulated Obama for his "extraordinary election victory" and said it "opens the road of hope for the world in times of difficulty."

In a telegram sent to Obama, Zapatero wrote, "As prime minister of the government of Spain, I let you know of our desire to work together to search for opportunities and solutions to tackle the challenges we face.

"I am convinced, as you are, that dialogue and collaboration with governments and multilateral institutions is the best way to find the answers that we need."

Zimbabwe opposition party Movement for Democratic Change:
"Obama's victory is a victory of hope, faith, change, a restart, values and dreams which have underpinned our fight as a movement against dictatorship and the neo-fascism of Robert Mugabe.

"Obama's victory will hopefully usher in a departure from the politics of polarization, fear, unilateralism and arrogance that has defined the Bush doctrine in the last eight years. Indeed, we hope that Obama will open new avenues of dialogue of new interaction based on respect of all countries irrespective of the size of national budgets or the number of fighter jets owned.

"... We are mindful of the difficulties that lie ahead in Obama's path and the fact that this is no El Dorado, a construct that Obama himself acknowledges in his acceptance speech. Indeed it is a task that may take more than his two terms of office. Perhaps the greatest thing we have learnt from this victory is that democracy can work and that there is no alternative to the same.

"John McCain's speech was particularly humbling, instructive and inspiring. If in Africa, incumbents would accept defeat and would graciously depart from the seat of power, this would be a different continent, and indeed Zimbabwe would be a different place.

"For those of us who are still in the trenches, fighting for change and democracy across the entire African continent, this is our victory. One which for now we will savor and celebrate."


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (261 Responses)
  1. KJL

    Obama will try to work with these leaders, whether he shares their views or not. He's a born diplomat, and will do us proud.

    November 5, 2008 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  2. JT Edwards

    Don't look now but the Russians are trying to rain the World's parade today. This is enough to either retain Condi or bring back General Powell.

    I cried this morning because I am so proud of my nation and in just one unified act, restored what someone in 8 years COULD NOT do.

    Thank you world, we will be coming to apologize.

    November 5, 2008 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  3. Sherry

    Congratulations, President-Elect Obama!

    As I stood in line yesterday morning, I was amazed by the turnout of voters. There were so many people of all ages, races and so forth. Although I cannot tell my children that I walked with Dr. King, I can tell them that I did vote for the first African American President.

    God bless!

    November 5, 2008 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  4. eatingarizona

    I've never been as proud of the country as I am this morning.

    Boundaries were crossed yesterday and a new era in US politics begins where excitement replaces secrets, old boys clubs, and no attempts to make the country a BETTER place.

    Cheers!

    November 5, 2008 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  5. Don MacArthur

    Since our prime minister, a northern republican, is not sufficiently gracious to offer his congratulations I will on behalf of all clear thinking Canadians laud President elect Obama and thank all of the intelligent Americans who voted for him.

    November 5, 2008 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  6. msnado

    Absolutely Amazining!! I'm at work and there is not a dry eye!

    November 5, 2008 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  7. julie michals rinaldi

    It is as New Year's Day around the globe filled with brighter eyes, sharper ears and a brave new hope. Today, as it was meant to be, we once again can raise our Earthly voices in unison, in a clear, single note of hope, and rise in support of the new "Omerica."

    November 5, 2008 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  8. Kelly in Texas

    America can once again hold its head up high knowing we have a leader in the Whitehouse that comands respect – not with fear and intimidation – but with morals and integrity.

    November 5, 2008 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  9. Carol Tate Hill

    This is a call to all believers to do as the scripture instructs us to, "pray for them that have rule over you so that you may live in peace." The is an enormous task and it will take daily supplications to the Almighty to guide and direct this nation in His path. May we all find our way back to the instructions, his Torah, and so find peace.

    November 5, 2008 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  10. Brenda Pendergast

    Thank whatever higher power you believe in for giving hope to the entire world. Maybe now we can start to seek peace and prosperity as one race. The human race.

    November 5, 2008 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  11. Joanna

    What a proud day to be an American!!! My faith is restored!

    November 5, 2008 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  12. CSD

    The healing has already begun.

    November 5, 2008 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  13. Ike

    Bravo!!!! Bravo!!! Bravo!!! President- Elect Obama, You have shown that you have the ability to bring people together. We understand that you have a lot of Obstacles to overcome, and we will support you all the way.

    November 5, 2008 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  14. Carmen

    I am so happy that Barack Obama has been elected President. He is the healing balm that we need. May God bless him in all the steps he takes and make the USA and the world see the good this country has.

    November 5, 2008 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  15. Renee

    wow! every comment speaks volumes to how the world views our country already. very powerful statements and great respect shown for our fresh new leader. congratulations fellow citizens!

    November 5, 2008 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  16. Sue, Greensboro, NC

    Well said, world leaders. Thank you for your support of our new leader. We hopefully will work with you to undo the damage Bush, Rice, Rumsfeld, Gonzales and other administration officials have done.

    Perhaps in the coming years some sense can be made, once again, of our foreign policy. That is why we voted overwhelming for Barack Obama.

    November 5, 2008 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  17. Bet

    We have a new President. We have new found hope for the future of our country.

    The first Presidential election I was able to vote in was for JFK. He inspiried us to rise to new heights. He told us we were going to the moon, we did. He told us we could help the world, and thousands signed up for the Peace Corps.

    He told us "ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country". It was our battle cry.

    Now I've seen the rise of another JFK. I never thought to see someone whom I have this admiration for again after JFK and RFK were taken from us.
    But once again, hope springs up, and I am hopeful that the new generation of Americans can take up the burden that we older folks now lay down...

    November 5, 2008 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  18. AM

    I have never felt so proud to be an American as I do right now at this moment. The world joined us last night in our celebration of electing the first african american presdident of the United States. I am overwhelmed by the possibiilties this election has unfolded, and I look forward to following Senator Obama's tenure in the white house with great enthusiasm and hope.

    November 5, 2008 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  19. Veronica

    All I can say is that I history has been made and I am so glad to have been alive to see it. God bless America!

    November 5, 2008 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  20. cynthia mbeki

    congratulations to Obama, I wish all the best for him as all eyes of the world at looking at him as the first youngest President of United State of America.

    November 5, 2008 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  21. Sue, Greensboro, NC

    Well said, world leaders. Thank you for your support of our new leader. We hopefully will work with you to undo the damage Bush, Rice, Rumsfeld, Gonzales and other administration officials have done.

    Perhaps in the coming years some sense can be made, once again, of our foreign policy. That is why we voted overwhelmingly for Barack Obama.

    November 5, 2008 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  22. CNN pay attention

    You forgot the Canadian PM.

    November 5, 2008 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  23. james

    That is perfect, we have Iran congratulating our president. I do not percieve weakness in our new president, and if Iran would like to continue to be a soveriegn nation, it ought to think about changes its own policies. In general the bigger threat of the two Iraq, and Iran, has always been the latter. I could certianly get behind the idea of overthrowing their govt. and exploiting their natural resources!

    November 5, 2008 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  24. Mike

    The one thing we learned in this election cycle:

    Money can buy anything. From the local to national stage money was the biggest winner! Whatever issue or candidate could out spend the other prevailed in almost every race and issue on the ballot. The public found out that the television news personnel media can be bought. Individual news reporters can be bought. Print writers can be bought. Oh how far we have fallen as a republic actually relying on paid-for-media to determine the outcome of our future instead of taking some time and reading the fine print.

    November 5, 2008 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  25. Phil, Ashburn, VA

    As an Indian American, I am proud to have voted for Obama. This truly is a world choice in an American election.

    November 5, 2008 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
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