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

World leaders congratulate Obama

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=" 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. Steve (VA)

    I am so happy that we have someone in office that will garner the respect from other world leader and not just act without reason or rational. Great work America.

    November 5, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  2. Badmus sikiru

    This victory is unprecedented in the history of presidential elections in the US. The whole world was watching, hoping and praying for an Obama victory if only for the desired change in America and indeed the whole world. Congratulations President elect Obama, Congratulations America and congratulations to the world.

    November 5, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  3. sasha

    In the rise and fall of nations, I had thought that the US had turned a corner during Mr George W Bush's tenure, after reaching its zenith during Mr Bill Clinton's reign. Now it seems and I truly hope that the with Mr Obama's win, the fall is reversible.

    November 5, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  4. Stan N.

    Now is the time for all American's to come together. It's time all racial overtones be laid to rest.It's time for a change not only policy wise but humanity purposes. Let this world be a better place and let our country show great promise in resolving our countries past racil problems. It's time to execute Obama's change!!!!

    November 5, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  5. Thankfull Canuck

    Canada thanks all who voted for Barack Obama.... we all hope he will impact The world and North America in a big and positive way. Congradulations to you all!!!! P.S. Your favorability with the rest of the world just got a HUGE boost and that makes us all much safer.Thanks again and good luck!!

    November 5, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  6. Brenna, MN

    Re: Marge's comment that a dog could have won... if that were true, Kerry would have won in '04. I think that the nation responded to a true leader, an intelligent statesman and inspirational orator. I think the world has responded as well, and I am so grateful to feel optimistic again, and cannot wait for my next trip outside the country. This time, I'll get to be proud to be an American.

    November 5, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  7. Dawn

    With 8 years of George W. Bush and that he alienated the whole world. 70 countries were endorsing Barack Obama. He is our 44th President of the United States. We all will see what he will do for this Country.

    Obama did inspire alot of people...He won the highest office in the nation, and for an African-American man who started out as a Community Organizer it proves that anyone can be President.

    May you be blessed with good health and do the impossable, Unite the United States and the world.

    Thank-you and bless you President elect and Vice President Barack Obama and Joe Biden

    November 5, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  8. William N Harris III

    This is a beckon of light for a country that has appeared dim on the world's grand stage. I hope that our country doesn't set its expectations too high because everything takes time but we have a great leader whose ready and able to renew our country.

    November 5, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  9. Paul DObro

    where are the riots? Where is the collapse of the world that the GOP claimed would occur if they did not win?

    Time to heal boys and girls. Dems, do not gloat. Repubs, stop believing all the lies your party has told you and get ready to WORK TOGETHER.

    November 5, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  10. Adam in Montreal

    Last night, Obama received a phone call from Canada's PM Harper. No mention of it here. Kind of strange given that Canada is the United States' largest trading partner. More American jobs rely on continued strong trade with Canada than with any other nation, and Canada is currently providing half of the US's supply of oil. One would think that the details of what Canada's Prime Minister had to say to Obama would merit at least a sentence or two?

    November 5, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  11. jewelzz

    A concern seemingly overlooked, it does not matter your chosen party or your intake of this monumental moment in history. Do not be mislead ny the powers that be. If we surrender our military at this juncture in Iraq, we nail our coffin shut. If we allow our arms to be taken from us, we are on our knees. I support our country in it unified movement but will not concede our military deaths to be in vain and will not allow my loved ones to be unarmed in the time that we live in. I pray that Obama is ready for this task as he seems to have less experience in foreign policy and people around me do not feel as secure now.

    November 5, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  12. Rose

    The American people elected someone that can talk in complete sentences its that simple, someone who understands truly what "give peace a chance" really means. John Lennon would be proud!!!

    November 5, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  13. Lamar

    Every fiber in my body and soul tells me we've made the right choice! Our future is MUCH brighter today!

    November 5, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  14. The Cosmos Rocks


    November 5, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  15. Angela, Alabama

    God has opened doors and I am thankful to be apart of history. I pray for President Elect Obama's success as he takes this country forward and to a higher level

    November 5, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  16. Matt

    I'm with the world leaders. Obama rocks!

    November 5, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  17. Rachid BB

    Just want to add my name to history. I was in tears myself when I saw Mr. Martin of CNN, Mr. Jessie Jackson and Mrs. Oprah Winfry tears stripping down of their faces. I thought of the African American struggles and how far they have come.
    Congratulation Barak, let's bring the Prestige back to America.


    College Station, Texas

    November 5, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  18. truth hurts

    get over it guys, Obama is now the President of USA, whether you like it or not, hope you will find it in your hearts and move on because you will be surily leasern to him the next 8 years

    November 5, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  19. Tabeth


    the Almighty God has given a chance to exploit to everyone under His sun. He Said to Cain, If you do like able i will accept you!

    No one should be discouraged!

    God Bless

    November 5, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  20. huh?

    Obama may not be able to pull our country together in the end, but at least he's gonna try. That's more than we can say for most politicians.

    November 5, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  21. Anita

    To Stephanie R:

    Your comment brought tears of joy to my eyes. I love this COUNTRY! The people have spoken and the world will listen. This is so amazing. I don't know what else to say...

    November 5, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  22. Al, NY NY

    to you know how the majority of Americans (and people abroad) have felt for the last 8 years of "leading by buffoonery" and "nucular danger"

    November 5, 2008 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  23. adg

    hey Steve r Get a job! OOO wait there is no jobs, because of Bush!!!! I am so tired of people who have fallen for Bushes lies and Mccains lies. I cant wait for Obama to prove them wrong!! And He Will!!! But We all know that these Mccain sapporters will hang on to the lies so they can stay angry. cause its like a drug to them!!!

    November 5, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  24. Sandi AZ

    The people of America have once again showed great courage in electing Barack Obama President of the the United States of America. I have had great faith in the young man I heard speak at the DNC in 2004. He has not changed his stance on what he believes the American people want, and he will truly be a great great President. I am so very very proud of the American people for ignoring the slurs, lies and deceit of this very shameful campaign. I am so very proud of our young people for help making this election come true. It was a wonderful sight to watch blacks, whites, all nationalities on TV come together as one, it was a truly inspiring moment I will always cherish. Okay America, lets pull up our sleeves and help our neighbors and this country to move into the 21st Century with Barack Obabma!

    November 5, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  25. Earl William Meneweather II

    Even at my age the strength of role models cannot be overestimated. Barack Obama has created a new model for African-Americans and the world. Truly no man or woman has any excuse but to achieve his or her dreams to the fullest. Today all of us, as Americans, can walk with our heads held a little higher and our backbones a little straighter.

    November 5, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11