7 November 2012

Africa: World Reacts to U.S. Presidential Election

Washington — Nations around the globe reacted to the re-election of President Obama on November 6.

In the village of Kogelo in western Kenya, where President Obama's father was born, men, women and children sang and danced in the streets. "Kenya, as always, is proud of our association with you," Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki said in a statement. "We look forward to the deepening of relations between our two countries during your second term in office."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel congratulated the president in a letter released by her office. "I have deeply appreciated our many meetings and conversations about all the issues involved in developing the German-American and the trans-Atlantic relationship," Merkel wrote, "not least in overcoming the global financial and economic crisis."

China's state-run news agency, Xinhua, reported that President Hu Jintao congratulated Obama on his re-election. Hu's message said China-U.S. relations had made positive progress in the past four years as a result of the two nations' joint efforts.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak expressed his wish that the president's re-election would lead to even greater cross-cultural unity. "My hope," Razak said, "is that President Obama will continue in his efforts to foster understanding and respect between the United States and Muslims around the world."

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi congratulated his U.S. counterpart, saying in a congratulatory message that he hoped to strengthen "friendly relations between the two countries to serve their common objectives, namely justice, liberty and peace."

And in the streets of Indonesia, where Obama lived as a child, drivers and motorcyclists shouted, "Obama!" The president visited Indonesia in 2010, and has enjoyed great popularity there. "We need someone to lead the world, to maintain peace," a restaurant manager in Jakarta told the Christian Science Monitor. "Since Obama has been president, we have seen a good impact for the whole country."

The Brazilian newspaper Folha de S. Paulo reported that President Dilma Rousseff formed a heart shape with her hands and said of the president, "I am going to call him to congratulate him."

In a message of congratulations, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said, "I have no doubt that there is much more we can do together to further strengthen the India-U.S. partnership and thereby advance peace and stability, expand mutual economic opportunities, harness the potential of science and technology, innovation and higher education and empower our people to address global challenges."

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