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World Reaction to Obama's Win: From Angela Merkel to the Taliban

... to the Dalai Lama to the Kremlin to the leadership in Beijing

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Carolyn Kaster/AP

Political leaders in many parts of the world have welcomed the reelection of U.S. President Barack Obama to a second four-year term. In Berlin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel indicated that she looked forward to continued collaboration with the United States. "I want to offer my warm congratulations to the reelected President Barack Obama," she said. "We know each other well and I also look forward to cooperating with respect to stabilizing the trans-Atlantic relationship between the German federal government and the United States of America. But also between the European Union and the United States of America. I wish [him] good luck today."

A spokesman for Vladimir Putin said the Russian president viewed Obama's reelection over Republican rival Mitt Romney "very positively" and had sent a congratulatory telegram to Washington.

In a joint statement, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and EU President Herman Van Rompuy said they looked forward to continuing their "close cooperation" with Obama.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen, secretary-general of the NATO military alliance, expressed "warm congratulations," praising what he called Obama's "outstanding leadership" in maintaining Euro-Atlantic ties.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said he envisaged continued cooperation with Obama. "I have really enjoyed working with him over these last few years and I look forward to working with him again over the next four years," he said. 

French President Francois Hollande suggested that Obama's victory was a signal that the United States would remain deeply engaged in international issues. He called the victory "an important moment for the United States and also for the world."

Israel, which had expressed frustration with Obama's diplomatic stance on its adversary Iran, nonetheless welcomed his reelection.

President Shimon Peres expressed confidence Obama would "do whatever he can" to reduce the threat of Iran's nuclear program. "What he said about Iran he will do," he said. "I am convinced completely. The responsibilities that are falling on his shoulders are not simple."

Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas also offered his congratulations and called on Obama to continue efforts to achieve Middle East peace.

Taliban Urges U.S. Withdrawal

Hamid Karzai and Asif Ali Zardari, the presidents of Afghanistan and Pakistan, respectively, both offered their congratulations on Obama's reelection and expressed hope for expanding ties with the United States.

Taliban insurgents, meanwhile, issued a statement calling on Obama to admit that the United States has lost the war in Afghanistan and pull its troops out immediately.

The foreign minister of Iraq congratulated Obama. Hoshyar Zebari told RFE/RL that his country was ready to "solidify and strengthen" its relations with the United States.

Obama oversaw the final pullout of U.S. military forces from Iraq at the end of 2011, nine years after the start of a war launched by his predecessor, George W. Bush. Violence and extremist attacks are seen as rising in Iraq since the U.S. withdrawal.

In Egypt, where Obama gave a landmark 2009 speech on his hopes for the Muslim world, President Muhammad Morsi praised Obama's win, saying he hoped the U.S. administration would serve the interests of both the American and the Egyptian people.

China's Foreign Ministry said President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao phoned Obama to congratulate him on his win. Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping, who is due to assume the presidency this week, made a congratulatory call to Obama's running mate, Vice President Joe Biden.

The Dalai Lama also congratulated Obama, saying he had made "earnest efforts to live up to ... the trust placed in you by the American public."

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon congratulated Obama and urged him to act quickly on ending the war in Syria and reviving the Middle East peace process.  

And the main opposition Syrian National Council also voiced hope on November 7 that resolving the conflict in Syria would figure at the top of Obama's agenda.

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