World political leaders react to Donald Trump’s US election win

Republican presidential elect Donald Trump. Picture: Getty
Republican presidential elect Donald Trump. Picture: Getty
Share this article
0
Have your say

Donald Trump emerged as the shock winner of the US presidential election in a night which has sent shockwaves around the world.

At the end of one of the most divisive elections in modern US history, the Republican candidate defeated Hillary Clinton in a race that went down to the wire.

The Republican candidate’s moves over the coming days will be closely scrutinised by world leaders.

Below is the reaction so far from around the globe so far:

FRANCE

The first French presidential candidate to comment on the U.S. election was populist, anti-immigrant politician Marine Le Pen, congratulating Trump even before the final results are known.

Le Pen, hoping to ride anti-establishment sentiment to victory in April-May French presidential elections, tweeted her support to the “American people, free!”

French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said France would continue to work with the new president whoever wins the final tally, though expressed concern about Trump’s lead and said it could hold a cautionary message for Europe.

“We don’t want a world where egoism triumphs,” Ayrault said on France-2 television Wednesday. France’s Socialist government had openly endorsed Clinton.

Ayrault said European politicians should pay attention to the message from Trump voters. “There is a part of our electorate that feels ... abandoned,” including people who feel “left behind” by globalization, he said.

He said a Trump victory could bring “more incertitude” to French politics.

CANADA

Canada and the prospect of Americans moving there appears to have drawn so much online interest that it has knocked out the country’s immigration website.

Searches for “move to Canada” and “immigrate to Canada” spiked Tuesday night as election returns favored Republican nominee Donald Trump. “Canada” was a leading U.S. trend on Twitter, with more than 1 million tweets.

While much of the chatter was clearly tongue-in-cheek, the website for Citizenship and Immigration Canada was down at the same time. Agency officials could not be immediately reached for comment.

RUSSIA

Russian President Vladimir Putin has sent Donald Trump a telegram of congratulation on winning the U.S. presidential election.

In a brief statement Wednesday, the Kremlin said Putin expressed “his hope to work together for removing Russian-American relations from their crisis state.”

Putin also said he has “confidence that building a constructive dialogue between Moscow and Washington that is based on principles of equality, mutual respect and a real accounting each other’s positions, in the interests of our peoples and the world community.”

Russia’s lower house of parliament is applauding the election of Donald Trump as the next U.S. president.

State news agency RIA-Novosti says Vyacheslav Novikov, a member of the foreign affairs committee from the governing United Russia party, addressed the State Duma on Wednesday morning.

Novikov said that “three minutes ago, Hillary Clinton acknowledged her defeat in the U.S. presidential elections and just a second ago, Trump began his speech as president-elect. I congratulate all of you on this.”

The chamber, where the pro-Kremlin party holds an overwhelming majority, then broke into applause, the report said.

HUNGARY

Hungary’s prime minister says Donald Trump’s victory is “great news” and shows “democracy is still alive.”

Prime Minister Viktor Orban has been often criticized by the United States, including by Hillary Clinton when she was secretary of state, for weakening the democratic system of checks and balances. Orban offered his congratulations to Trump on his Facebook page.

Orban, who returned to power in 2010 and last year built fences on Hungary’s southern borders to stop the flow of migrants heading toward Western Europe, said in July that Trump’s immigration policies made him the best candidate for Hungary and Europe.

In 2014, Orban famously declared his intentions of turning Hungary into an “illiberal state.” His government has also been criticized by the U.S. on issues like corruption, anti-Semitism and media freedom.

CUBA

News of Trump’s widening lead hit hard in Cuba, which has spent the last two years negotiating normalization with the United States after more than 50 years of Cold War hostility.

Normalization has set off a tourism boom in Cuba and visits by hundreds of executives from the U.S. and dozens of other nations newly interested in doing business on the island. Trump has promised to reverse Obama’s opening with Cuba unless President Raul Castro agrees to more political freedom on the island, a concession considered a virtual impossibility.

Speaking of Cuba’s leaders, Communist Party member and noted economist and political scientist Esteban Morales told the Telesur network that “they must be worried because I think this represents a new chapter.”

Carlos Alzugaray, a political scientist and retired Cuban diplomat, said a Trump victory could, however, please some hard-liners in the Cuban leadership who worried that Cuba was moving too close to the United States too quickly.

While many Cubans were unaware of the state of the race early Wednesday morning, those watching state-run Telesur or listening to radio updates said they feared that a Trump victory would mean losing the few improvements they had seen in their lives thanks to the post-detente tourism boom.

“The little we’ve advanced, if he reverses it, it hurts us,” taxi driver Oriel Iglesias Garcia said. “You know tourism will go down. If Donald Trump wins and turns everything back it’s really bad for us.”

MALAYSIA

Malaysia’s prime minister has congratulated Donald Trump on his “extraordinary victory,” saying his success showed that politicians should never take voters for granted.

Najib Razak is a possible beneficiary of what could be an inward-looking U.S. under a Trump presidency. He is embroiled in a scandal over the alleged theft by his associates of several billion dollars from a state investment fund. A U.S. Justice Department probe has linked Najib to the embezzlement.

Najib said opinion polls and established political figures all underestimated the strength of Trump’s support.

He said that Trump’s “appeal to Americans who have been left behind, those who want to see their government more focused on their interests and welfare, and less embroiled in foreign interventions that proved to be against U.S. interests, have won Mr. Trump the White House.”

IRELAND

Donald Trump’s victory in the U.S. election is being viewed with shock and revulsion in Ireland.

The country is close to the Clintons and fearful of Trump’s campaign pledge to confront U.S. companies using Ireland as a tax shelter.

The newspaper of record, the Irish Times, branded the New York businessman a “misogynistic racist liar” who would fan instability overseas and intolerance at home.

Irish Times columnist Fintan O’Toole wrote Wednesday: “The republic of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Roosevelt is now the United Hates of America.”

“President Trump is the creation of the same demographic that gave Europe its far-right authoritarian movements with such disastrous consequences for the world. This does not mean that we are facing an American fascism. But it does mean that Trump will not be able to rule without stoking and manipulating fear,” he wrote.

TURKEY

Turkey’s prime minister has called on Donald Trump to extradite a U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen - blamed by Ankara for the failed coup in July - as soon as he is sworn in.

Binali Yildirim also said Wednesday that he hoped that the new leadership in the United States would take into consideration Turkey’s “sensitivities concerning the fight against terrorism,” give priority to policies that would bring peace and stability to the region and advance traditional friendship between the two countries.

Ties between the two allies have been strained over perceptions in Turkey that the United States is reluctant to arrest and extradite Gulen. Turkey’s is also frustrated by Washington’s backing to Syrian Kurdish militia that are fighting the Islamic State group in Syria and which Ankara considers to be a terrorist group.

INDIA

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Donald Trump in a message posted on Twitter.

Modi tweeted that “we appreciate the friendship you have articulated toward India during your campaign.

He added that “we look forward to working with you closely to take India-US bilateral ties to a new height.”

Trump had reached out to Indian-American voters at a rally in New Jersey in mid-October, praising Modi and vowing to defeat terrorism while acknowledging that India had suffered terror strikes, including the deadly 2008 attacks that killed 164 people.

In the Indian capital Wednesday morning, a small group of men from the rightwing Hindu nationalist group Hindu Sena celebrated Trump’s victory at a central protest ground, where they brandished posters and photos of the U.S. president-elect while dancing and sharing sweets.

PHILIPPINES

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who has lashed out at Barack Obama for criticizing his deadly anti-drug crackdown, has congratulated U.S. President-elect Donald Trump.

Duterte says he looks forward to working with the new American leader to further enhance the treaty allies’ relations.

Duterte, who took office in June, has had an uneasy relation with the U.S. The 71-year-old leader has announced his desire to scale back joint combat drills with the U.S. military and end the presence of foreign troops, including Americans, in the country in two years.

In Duterte’s statement on Trump’s victory released by his spokesman, however, the tough-talking Philippine leader was unusually diplomatic.

“President Duterte wishes President-elect Trump success in the next four years as chief executive and commander-in chief of the U.S. military, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said in a statement. Duterte, he said, “looks forward to working with the incoming administration for enhanced Philippines-US relations anchored on mutual respect, mutual benefit and shared commitment to democratic ideals and the rule of law.”

GERMANY

A senior ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel says Germany “must also work together as well as possible with Donald Trump as the new U.S. president.”

Volker Kauder, the parliamentary caucus leader of Merkel’s conservative Union bloc, says that a “close trans-Atlantic partnership continues to be of central significance for Germany and Europe in the coming years.”

Kauder pointed out that Germans and the U.S. share the same set of values and that “especially now we need to work on keeping up the good relations to the U.S.”

German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen, who also belongs to Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats party, had called the vote in the U.S. “a big shock” earlier on Wednesday.

EUROPEAN UNION

The European Union’s foreign policy chief says that the trans-Atlantic ties with the United States go beyond the election of Donald Trump.

Federica Mogherini said Wednesday in a Twitter message that “EU-US ties are deeper than any change in politics. We’ll continue to work together, rediscovering the strength of Europe.”

EU Parliament President Martin Schulz said the result “must be respected” as he said that Trump “managed to become the standard-bearer of the angst and fears of millions of Americans.”

PALESTINE

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says in a statement that he “congratulates the elected American president, Donald Trump, and hopes that peace will be achieved during his term.”

An Abbas aide, Saeb Erekat, said Wednesday he doesn’t expect U.S. positions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to change under Trump.

Erekat said the Republican and Democratic parties are both committed to a two-state solution of the conflict and “I think this will not change with the coming administration.”

The Palestinians want to establish a state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem, lands Israel captured in 1967. Gaps between Abbas and Israel’s hawkish leader on any border deal remain wide.

Trump has proposed moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, even though the U.S. has not recognized Israel’s annexation of parts of the city.

TURKEY

Turkey’s justice minister says a change of presidents in the United States won’t make a big difference to the “deep-rooted” relations between the two countries.

Bekiz Bozdag told the state-run Anadolu Agency on Wednesday: “in essence our relations are relations between two states and we hope that under the new presidential term the Turkish-U.S. relations will be much better. That is our expectation.”

Bozdag noted that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s win came despite intense campaigning in favor of his rival Hillary Clinton.

“I saw an intense campaign for Hillary Clinton’s victory. Artists, sportsmen, all personalities worked for Clinton’s victory. But in elections, it is important to embrace the people,” Bozdag said. “No one has won elections through newspaper headlines, opinion polls or television (campaigns).”

JAPAN

Japan is sending a top official to Washington to try to meet with those who will be responsible for the next White House administration.

Katsuyuki Kawai, a political aide to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in charge of diplomacy, told reporters after meeting with Abe that he had been instructed to visit Washington as early as next week.

Abe’s instruction came when results showed Republican candidate Donald Trump with a clear lead. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said it was not because Japan was unprepared for Trump’s win.

He said: “We have been preparing so that we can respond to any situation because our stance is that our alliance with the U.S. remains to be the cornerstone of our diplomacy whoever becomes the next president.”