What World Leaders Had to Say About Obama Election Victory

After President Barack Obama's re-election, world leaders expressed hope for stronger cooperation with the United States on issues ranging from the struggle against Islamic extremism to international trade.

Here are some of the reactions:


Russian President Vladimir Putin said he hoped Obama's re-election would have a positive impact on relations with the United States, which have been strained by differences over issues ranging from missile defense to human rights and the conflict in Syria.

"We express hope that the positive beginnings in bilateral relations and in international cooperation between Russian and the United States, in the interest of international security, will develop and improve," Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told Interfax news agency.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who was Russia's president for much of Obama's current term, made clear he was glad about the continuity.

"For us, he (Obama) is an understandable and predictable partner. That is the most important thing in politics," Medvedev was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies during a visit to Vietnam.


China's official media said Obama's re-election offered the opportunity to put Sino-U.S. relations back on track after it said mutual trust had been "whittled down" during his first term.

"As the two countries have been ever more economically interwoven, a new U.S. government perhaps should start to learn how to build a more rational and constructive relationship with China," the official Xinhua news agency said.

Improving relations, especially in trade, would "not only provide U.S. investment with rich business opportunities, but also help to revive the sagging global economy."

On Thursday, China begins its own once-a-decade leadership handover as it opens its 18th Communist Party Congress. The new party chairman is virtually certain to be current Vice President Xi Jinping, who will take over as president in March.


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged to cooperate with Obama on security issues despite what has been seen as a testy personal relationship that clouded U.S.-Israel ties over the past four years.

"I will continue to work with President Obama to ensure the interests that are vital for the security of Israel's citizens," Netanyahu said in a short, congratulatory statement hailing what he called strong strategic relations with Washington.

But in remarks underscoring a rift with the United States over possible Israeli military action against Iran, Netanyahu said in an interview broadcast on Israel's Channel 2 this week: "If there is no other way to stop Iran, Israel is ready to act."


The head of Iran's judiciary condemned the "crimes" of U.S. sanctions, imposed to pressure Tehran to curb its nuclear program, and indicated Obama should not expect rapid new negotiations with Tehran.

"After all this pressure and crimes against the people of Iran, relations with America cannot be possible overnight and Americans should not think they can hold our nation to ransom by coming to the negotiating table," Sadeq Larijani was quoted as saying by IRNA news agency.


President Asif Ali Zardari called Obama's re-election a clear reaffirmation of his leadership and expressed hope that U.S.-Pakistan ties, which have been strained, would prosper.

"The president said that he looked forward to working closely with President Obama towards the shared objective of peace, security, stability and prosperity in the region," an official statement said.

Washington and Islamabad have been at odds over U.S. drone strikes On militants, the killing of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden on Pakistani territory and the war in neighboring Afghanistan.

The Pakistan Taliban, for its part, expressed surprise at the election outcome.

"We are amazed that Obama has been re-elected. But for us there is no difference between Obama and Romney; both are enemies. And we will keep up our jihad and fight alongside our Afghan brothers to get the Americans out of Afghanistan," said Pakistan Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan


Afghan President Hamid Karzai said he hoped Obama's re-election would allow U.S.-Afghan ties to further expand even as the United States plans to withdraw most combat troops by the end of 2014.

"American is a strong ally of Afghanistan and we congratulate Obama's victory as a new U.S. president. We hope he puts more effort in fighting against terrorists and their bases in Pakistan," said Karzai spokesman Siamak Herawi.


Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Obama now had a historic opportunity to work for global peace and progress "at an admittedly difficult juncture."

"I have no doubt that there is much more we can do together to further strengthen the India-U.S. partnership," Singh said in a statement.


British Prime Minister David Cameron said the United States and Britain should make solving the Syrian crisis a priority following Obama's re-election.

"One of the first things I want to talk to Barack about is how we must do more to try and solve this crisis," Cameron told journalists at a camp for Syrian refugees in Jordan, where he was on an official trip.

Cameron said he also looked forward to working with Obama to "kick start the world economy" and push for an EU-U.S. trade deal over the next four years.


Japanese government and business leaders welcomed Obama's re-election and said they hoped he would continue to focus on Asia during his second term. Obama has initiated a shift of U.S. international focus toward Asia.

"With the security environment in east Asia getting tougher, the importance of the Japan-U.S. alliance is increasing. We are looking forward to working with President Obama to develop and deepen the alliance further," chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura told a regular news conference.

Hiromasa Yonekura, chairman of Japan's largest business lobby Keidanren, said the United States and Japan must ensure that their relationship is "further fortified" and that the United States would support Japan's hopes of joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a regional free trade agreement.


Prime Minister Stephen Harper congratulated Obama and said he was looking forward to cooperating on initiatives to generate jobs and growth on both sides of the border.

"This includes putting in place the transportation and security infrastructure necessary to take bilateral commercial relations to new heights and reducing red tape so companies on both sides of the border can create more jobs," Harper said in a statement.