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05 Nov 2008 08:57
South African President Kgalema Motlanthe congratulated United States president elect Barack Obama on Wednesday on his victory as the first black president of the most powerful country in the world.
“The government and people of South Africa and indeed those of the entire region ... join the peoples of the United States of America in expressing their warm congratulations to you on your resounding election as the president elect of United States of America,” said Motlanthe.
“Your election to this high office of the American people carries with it hope for millions of your countrymen and women as much as it is for millions of people of particularly of the African descent both in the continent of Africa as well as those in the diaspora,” he said in a statement.
He expressed hope that Obama’s election would “contribute significantly to efforts in the continent of Africa to help bring about ‘change they can believe in’.”
“We express the hope that poverty and under-development in Africa which remains a challenge for humanity will indeed continue to receive a greater attention of the focus of the new administration.”
Obama’s rival, Republican John McCain conceded defeat in the US presidential election on Wednesday morning after results confirmed Obama as the winner in a historic election battle.
Nicolas Sarkozy, French President, said: “With the world in turmoil and doubt, the American people, faithful to the values that have always defined America’s identity, have expressed with force their faith in progress and the future.
“At a time when we must face huge challenges together, your election has raised enormous hope in France, in Europe and beyond.
France and Europe ...
Afghan President Hamid Karzai said he applauded the American people for their “great decision”.
“I hope that this new administration in the United States of America, and the fact of the massive show of concern for human beings and lack of interest in race and colour while electing the president, will go a long way in bringing the same values to the rest of world sooner or later.
“I applaud the American people once again and hope that this election and president Obama’s coming into office will bring peace to Afghanistan, life to Afghanistan and prosperity to the Afghan people and to the rest of the world.”
Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki said his countrymen were immensely proud of Obama’s Kenyans roots.
“Your victory is not only an inspiration to millions of people all over the world, but it has special resonance with us here in Kenya.”
Stephen Harper, Canadian Prime Minister, said: “I look forward to meeting with the president-elect so that we can continue to strengthen the special bond that exists between Canada and the United States. In the weeks and months ahead Canadian officials and diplomats will be working closely with members of president-elect Obama’s transition team. Ministers in our government look forward to building a strong working relationship with their counterparts in a new Obama Cabinet.”
Taro Aso, Japanese Prime Minister, said: “As the world faces many difficult issues, I am sure that the United States, under the excellent leadership of president-elect Obama, will move further forward while cooperating with the international community.
“The Japan-US alliance is key to Japanese diplomacy and it is the foundation for peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. With president-elect Obama, I will strengthen the Japan-US alliance further and work towards resolving global issues such as the world economy, terror and the environment.”
Helen Clark, New Zealand’s Prime Minister, also said her administration was looking forward to working with Obama.
“Senator Obama will be taking office at a critical juncture. There are many pressing challenges facing the international community, including the global financial crisis and global warming. We look forward to working closely with president-elect Obama and his team to address these challenges.”
Saeb Erekat, an aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said he hoped Obama would “stay the course” and continue the US engagement in the peace process without delay.
“We hope the two-state vision would be transferred from a vision to a realistic track immediately.” - Sapa, Reuters
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