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. Woodrow Zaros

    Thank God, Thank god. Thank you America. Amen

    November 5, 2008 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  2. KELLY in Denver

    I just dont know when I have felt so relieved. First time Voter, 37 Year old male, and I just feel a huge burden lifted from the country. Congratulations President-Elect Obama. We are counting on you, and will remain steadfast and strongly by your side in the trying times to come. Thanks go out to Senator McCain, for a truley tough and long campaign. He is truley an American Hero, and though not chosen as our next Leader, will certainly have a place in this historic journey which we are about to begin.

    THANKS AMERICA! Its like an American Birthday all over again.

    November 5, 2008 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  3. GLORIA WOOD

    The most exciting moment is seeing all people standing shoulder to shoulder celebrating the election of a remarkable man. Martin Luther King's words "free at last" applies to all of us. What a powerful moment in history for everyone..............................

    November 5, 2008 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  4. Dianna Thomason

    I truly congratulate now President Obama and Biden for the magnificant contribution and sacrifice they both have made for many. They have truly overcome the obstacles and stereotypes and with God's Grace, they have prevailed. This is a moment in history that we must remember; yet work together by making the collaborative effort to embrace peace, tranquility, and prosperity throughout the world. We must work together as citizens whether locally or abroad to help build and foster the values and principles that our country should be based upon.

    God is magnificent! Congratulations President Barack Obama and Joe Biden!

    November 5, 2008 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  5. Joao Paulo Santos

    I'm from Portugal, and I want to salute and congratulate the senator Barack Obama for his magnificent victory.

    November 5, 2008 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  6. Ohio lady

    Congratulations to Barack Obama for a great win! It is obvious from the good wishes conveyed by world leaders that Obama has a broad worldview and experience enough to interact and represent the U.S. well. Obama did not get into the mudslinging like his opponent, and it seems that his rising above it was vindicated by his win. Neither Hillary Clinton or John McCain/Sarah Palin and their campaigns won by getting down and dirty. Perhaps there is some hope now that decency and goodness can once again return to our country. That is part of the hope that Obama brings.

    November 5, 2008 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  7. Sonya Caroll Ramsey

    I am a white, 37 year old woman from Southwest Virginia. I have voted in other presidential elections. This time, however; was different, this time I feel that my hopes and dreams for our nation, for my childrens future have been made into reality. I feel honored and very proud to have been a part of this historical event by casting my vote for Barack Obama. Barack Obama has motivated me in a way that no other political figure ever has in my lifetime. He has instilled in me that hope and change is attainable for every American. God Bless you Barack Obama and God Bless the United States of America.

    November 5, 2008 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  8. Kevin

    I have always been very proud to be an American. But today, for the first time in a long time, I can say that I am VERY proud of America.

    November 5, 2008 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  9. Philmon Philip

    This is a new beginning, for the united states , and for the whole world.It is time that the US regains respect from the international community.This gives new hope to the end of racism and world peace.

    November 5, 2008 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  10. Raymond Zayas

    These messages from other nations remind me of the American Revolution, that inspired many nations to revolutionize their mind, country, and culture. With Obama there will be change not only here in the US but through out the world.

    November 5, 2008 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  11. Joe The Plummer

    I left my plunger in congratulations!

    November 5, 2008 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  12. diana d. stusse

    the hope i feel for our country and the world is profound. with the election decided, the campaign over, and a new president poised on the edge of history, perhaps our country will once again become the entity envisioned by the founding fathers with life, liberty and justice for all. with the rest of our world leaders, may our president obama persue the peace and fairness our planet needs if it is to survive.

    November 5, 2008 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  13. Claudia Alvarez

    Renewed respect from the world – just one of the many positive changes Obama will bring.

    November 5, 2008 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  14. PeaceProsperityLove

    There is no price you can pay for good will, you earn it.. Mr. Obama has layed the groundowrk for what maybe and what will be if the world unites against terror, poverty and devisiveness. As a McCain supporter, I could not help but be excited as unlike many voters I saw promise in both the candidates amd it has always felt like a victory to me just to break free of the past. While Presdient Bush has done an admirable job of keeping us safe and he alone is not responsible for all of our woes as all politics is a continum and the next President relys on the work of the last, we can now begin the needed healing of a country which has become an orphan of self endeavor . Lets hope and pray for peace, love and prosperity in the years to come.

    November 5, 2008 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  15. AZ Obama voter

    "We have a new spring in our walk and our shoulders are straighter." I can't say anything better than that.

    November 5, 2008 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  16. John

    This is a clear signal to all...the world, for the most part, has accepted even invited the idea of change. Our own country has sent and revieved the message that a closed mind is not acceptable. While the electoral college seemed close to a landslide, by no means is it a landslide popularly (52% while noteworthy is not a vast majority). We must recognize that there is a full spectrum of needs in our great country. While this is a great day for America and indeed the world, cooperation and focus is an essential need to make this country and the entire world better for having Barack Obama as the President of the United States of America.

    November 5, 2008 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  17. Renaldo

    This election has been an epic journey between the Old "status quo" and the New Vision of America. Barack Obama has shown his resilience and intellectual superiority needed in American leadership at this critical time. America has shown that we no longer want limited ideas that cater to the belief that the majority must beg for scraps from the table of the financial elite. We are rejecting the days of corporate interest over Citizen's social and economic conerns. We will no longer accept the ideas that one group is more "American" than another. The world was watching this election because the decisions made here have enormous impact on the global stage. This is the dawning of a new age where the well being of every man, women and child can participate in creating a world of new Ideas and ingenuity that are in harmony with man and the planet.

    November 5, 2008 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  18. Blas

    I'm in shock..

    November 5, 2008 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  19. Bill De

    OBAMA is not the Black President OBAMA is the Peoples President!

    November 5, 2008 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  20. Spacinator

    Great Victory for America and the WORLD! Thank you United States of America for coming through in a bid for hope and change. We can no longer be the big bully on the block for this is not the direction the people of the world want to go. Barack Obama will bring diplomacy, grace, reasoning and sound logic to the White House for the next 8 (hopefully) years. He will start to fix our country from the inside – which has been needed for many years – and he will bring peace and prosperity to the world.

    GO OBAMA!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!

    An Obama Supporter since 2004!!!!

    November 5, 2008 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  21. Al, NY NY

    Now the rest of the world will respect and cooperate with us, unlike the last 8 years of "cowboy" diplomacy and Duh-Bya's "with us or against us" mantra. And anyone who says "who cares what they think," you need to take the blinders off and get off the GOP Kool-Aid

    November 5, 2008 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  22. Yes, we did!

    Congratulations America for a victory well deserved! As President elect Barack Omaba stated, this is our victory and he will be a vessel used to bring unity to the United States of America, and to the rest of the world. I am very confident the right person was chosen to carry out such a task. I pray that we as Americans will be at peace with this historical victory and that all differences be put aside in effort to unite as a people, in effort to heal from the past eight years of a failed government. May we all embrace the concept of change with hopes of a brighter future for all mankind. God Bless America!

    November 5, 2008 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  23. Roger

    Yes. We did it!!!! The world has gained a great leader!!

    November 5, 2008 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  24. Female Voter

    World respect has been restored finally.

    November 5, 2008 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  25. WELCOME TO THE OBAMA SHOW

    AMERICA AS WE KNOW IT CHANGED LAST NIGHT,

    AMERICANS WILL PAY THE PRICE FOR NOT BEING EDUCATED BY VOTING FOR OBAMA.

    BUSINESSES WILL BE GOING UP ON THERE PRODUCT AND CORRUPTION IN THIS COUNTRY WILL GO WAY UP IN ORDER TO SURVIVE.

    NOW THAT WE PUT A CROOKED MAN TO RUN THIS COUNTRY AMERICANS MUST LEARN FROM HIM AND BE LIKE HIM WHICH MEANS CORRUPTION WILL BE THE WAY OF LIFE FROM NOW ON

    November 5, 2008 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
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