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. Prezzy Ivo Junior

    My congratulations to you, President Obama, and may God be with your family.

    November 5, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  2. Derrick mason

    The people have chose the right leader to take this country and make this country what it needs to be. I'm sorry that Marge feels a dog would have won considering our current state of the union, but Obama represents the majority of the U.S.A. Being of mixed race he truly represents the "The Melting Pot", this country embraces but never practiced. I just walked into work and I can not beleive the response and attitude of some of my (white) co-workers that are not doing any better than I. I am just going to stay prayed up.

    November 5, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  3. Stan

    Allelujia! This is awesome. This guy deserves the win.

    November 5, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  4. Tony from St. Louis

    Just feels good to be headed down a different track! Now all we need to do is keep the momentum going in the right direction. We're off to an excellent start! GREAT JOB AMERICA!!!

    November 5, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  5. Dawn

    I am so PROUD to be an American today. We have finally overcome and stand united as our founding fathers did.
    Humanity has returned to this country and we proved on 11/4/08 we are a country you will overcome whatever is thrown our way to stand TALL, PROUD, CONFIDENT and UNITED for our FREEDOM our COUNTRY and our PRESIDENT.

    Thank you President Obama

    November 5, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  6. Kiran sekhon

    Congratulations Mr. Obama from me, my family and friends on being our president. There is a long and harsh road ahead & WE are dead sure that you will be able to go far ahead. God bless you and God bless USA and the WORLD.

    November 5, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  7. A white guy who proudly cast his vote for Obama

    We now will have a President who can make us proud. A President who was elected because of the vision he has to lift up America and restore our country to the proper position it once occupied in the community of nations. A President who will take his responsibilities toward our country seriously. A President who will be focused on doing what is right for our country.

    November 5, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  8. The Cosmos Rocks

    »CELEBRATION time! YES! Oooh!

    November 5, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  9. Anthony

    It was time for a change. America made the right decision. Congrats to McCain he draws all my respect but Palin may have set back the chance of a woman president by decades

    November 5, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  10. Sick

    OH yeah all his scary friends.....who don't like America!

    November 5, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  11. Rhonda

    First off let me start by saying congratulations America on a job well done. Not only have we made history, we have overcome. I would normally not comment on these sites but the first comment from Marge struck me as odd, who said that there is a belief that Obama won this election by himself, it took a nation to get him into the oval office and for that I am grateful. As should you be. And as far as Bush how dare you state that the Republicans have only him to blame, I beg to differ they have themselves to blame as well for continuing to vote for someone who was for himself and his family for day one. Marge, I honestly hope that you are FOR change and not against it, because without change we can NOT move forward and as Obama has so graciously reminded us.....YES WE CAN......and I'd like to add YES WE DID !!!!!!

    November 5, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  12. onyeze chimezie uba

    President Obama showed confidence throughout his campaign months and that for me is the secret to a mans success.Your historic victory tells me that i can dare to achieve anything i set out my heart to...I congratulate you sir...

    November 5, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  13. Betty

    Hey, Chris in St. Louis: I live in a red state (Tennessee), and I'm sorry they just don't get it here. Go Obama.

    November 5, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  14. Dameon

    I like how god apparently voted Democratic this year? From all the religious here in the bible belt, at least this area, they're all feeling forsaken by god because they were just sure their prayers and needs of not having a heathen Muslim foreign (half-)black man become president.

    Thank you, vote count, for blessing us with a victory from Obama. You, vote count, and you alone have decided and personally effected the world we live in. All praise Vote Count and in all of his glory and holiness.

    November 5, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  15. Cecilia in California

    YES, We can............. Congratulations to the Democratic party for the victory. Its time for a change and I know that change is coming. We did it America!, We did it!.........God Bless OBAMA, his family and his team for the next years to come. We are ONE nation! and YES we can make a difference! Much love!

    November 5, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  16. gjd

    The United States of America as we knew it yesterday will no longer exist. We are now free to throw out the constitution and rule the country with compasion and liberalism. Capitalism and the free market are dead. It's been a long time coming but we finally got here.

    November 5, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  17. sky

    boy that feels good. Remember last time....when there were websites full of apologies to the world from Americans who tried to get Bush out.....no apologies necessary this time. for the world to know that we are back....that we are part of the world again, and they are welcoming us back like the prodigal son....boy that feels good.

    November 5, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  18. Julia

    He has given himself to History.

    November 5, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  19. Natasha/Ohio Democrat

    Jehovah is with him...... God Bless you President Obama

    November 5, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  20. Laura

    America has always preached that it is "the land of the free" while racism has run wild and freedom of speech has been suppressed for most of its history. With Barack Obama as President we can now hope that America will foster the freedom it has always laid claim to.

    November 5, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  21. tylenol666

    Congrats to all of us! and its my Birthday too! what a great gift to wake up to!

    November 5, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  22. Dres

    If 9/11 was this century's darkest hour, we awoke to the golden bands of it's brightest morning.

    November 5, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  23. Regina

    To Steve R:

    Why come on here and be disrespectful? Your rudeness doesn't make your journey in life any easier. Ease up and give this man a chance. We are all made to do great things. If we work together, we can return America to what she should be. Let's put aside these immature differences and work to heal this Nation. Peace to all.

    November 5, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  24. Ann

    Barack Obama Has raised the barr for Blacks
    No more "I am being discriminated against"
    that will be BS!!!!!!!!!!!!! get to work!!!!!!!!!

    November 5, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  25. Patton

    Israel should be very worried.

    November 5, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
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