“An open, united America engaged on the international scene” – the world welcomes Obama’s win

After a vicious, long and costly election campaign, world leaders react to President Obama's re-election.


Left Foot Forward’s Dan Holden rounds up the international reaction to President Obama’s win

Unsurprisingly, recent polling revealed the huge support that Obama has abroad. Obama and his liberal ideology are very popular in Europe and accordingly, reaction to his re-election has been in line with this.

David Cameron led the way in congratulating Obama on his re-election, emphasising the effort they must make together over Syria.

Europe, naturally more line with Democrats than Republicans, has reacted en masse with congratulations. The EU has released a statement supporting the President from both the Presidents of the EU and European Commission, citing the US as a key ally.

Angela Merkel has also weighed in offering her congratulations and co-operation in the global recovery from the economic downturn.

Francois Hollande, meanwhile, has joined in these chimes of goodwill by saying that the election was a:

“…clear choice for an open, united America that is totally engaged on the international scene.”

Congratulations have flooded in not just from Europe but further afield.

Kenya and Indonesia, both nations with strong ties to Obama, have joined in the tidal waves of support, along with South Africa and Egypt. Relations that have been more strained under Obama, with Russia, Israel and to a lesser extent China, have all been, officially at least, been temporarily patched up with national leaders congratulating him on his re-election.

Statements from leaders of these countries all indicate support and a willingness to work with Obama on the world stage. In China at least, there is a sense of relief in working with a President who is not Mitt Romney – a man who would have been overly hostile toward them, declaring the country a “currency manipulator” and threatening a trade war.

Obama’s popularity, however, has not been high in every part of the world and his re-election has done nothing to assuage this, with the Taliban have called upon Obama to pull out of Afghanistan and for the US to bandon its role of “world police”

Pakistan, the focus of many of Obama’s most controversial foreign policy positions, has released an official statement expressing relief at retaining a president committed to a 2014 withdrawal from Afghanistan (which Romney failed to commit to) – though the Pakistani public appear far less interested in his re-election with anger running high at the continued use of drone attacks, some of which leave innocent civilians dead.

Obama’s historic re-election has been greeted rapturously by many in Europe but with slightly more muted tones elsewhere. However, despite four turbulent years, it must be highlighted that very few American Presidents have achieved such an international rapport – even fewer with the potential he has for change on a global scale in his second term.

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