Stunned world leaders guarded in response
As the world was on Wednesday stunned by Donald Trump’s jaw-dropping victory in the US presidential election, world leaders were guarded in their reaction to the development while allies congratulated him.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was accused by Hillary Clinton of closeness to Trump, sent the winner a telegram to congratulate him and said Moscow is “ready to do our part and do everything to return relations to the trajectory of development”.
Putin “expressed hope for mutual work on bringing US- Russia relations out of their critical condition as well as on working out outstanding issues on the international agenda” in his congratulatory telegram, the Kremlin said.
Congratulating Trump, British Prime Minister Theresa May saying the UK and US had an “enduring and special relationship” and would remain “close partners” on trade, security and defence.
China’s President Xi Jinping sent congratulations to Trump and said he looked forward to working with him, state broadcaster CCTV reported. “I highly value China-US relations and look forward to working together with you, and holding fast to mutual respect and non-conflict, non-confrontation,” the channel cited Xi as saying in its nightly national broadcast.
During the campaign, Trump had accused China of snatching the jobs of the Americans. He had earlier claimed that Americans were living through the “greatest jobs theft” in the history of the world, saying that US companies were moving out jobs to countries like China, Mexico and Singapore.
French President Francois Hollande, who had earlier said Trump made him want to retch, warned his victory “opens a period of uncertainty.” “This American election opens a period of uncertainty,” he said in a statement that offered only brief congratulations to the controversial billionaire.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said there was “no possibility” of its nuclear deal with world powers being overturned by Trump despite his threat to dismantle it.
“Iran’s understanding in the nuclear deal was that the accord was not concluded with one country or government but was approved by a resolution of the UN Security Council and there is no possibility that it can be changed by a single government,” state television quoted Rouhani as telling his cabinet.
Saudi King Salman, meanwhile, expressed hope that Trump would bring stability to the Middle East.
“We wish your excellency success in your mission to achieve security and stability in the Middle East and worldwide,” Salman said.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said any “close cooperation” between the US and her country must be based on shared democratic values, and reminded him of the global responsibility he carries.
“Germany and America share the values of democracy, freedom, respect for the rule of law and human dignity, regardless of origin, skin colour, religion, gender, sexual orientation or political belief.On the basis of these values, I offer close cooperation to the future president of the United States of America, Donald Trump,” she said.
Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif also congratulated Trump on his “historic victory”, saying his election is “indeed the triumph of the American people and their enduring faith in the ideals of democracy, freedom, human rights and free enterprise”.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged to work “very closely” with Trump, saying “Canada has no closer friend, partner, and ally than the United States.
“We look forward to working very closely with President-elect Trump, his administration, and with the United States Congress in the years ahead, including on issues such as trade, investment and international peace and security,” Trudeau said in a statement.
Turkey also joined other countries in sending congratulatory message to Trump, expressing hopes for a “new page” in relations.
“I congratulate Mr Trump and I wish him success,” Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said in a speech in Ankara. He said that he has urged Trump to extradite as soon as possible the US-based Turkish preacher Fethullah Gulen, who Ankara accuses of masterminding the July coup bid.
Meanwhile, former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt invoked Brexit on Twitter, saying, “looks like this will be the year of the double disaster of the West.”