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World reaction

Putin congratulates Trump, calls for resuscitating relations

Iran urges president-elect to honor nuclear treaty; other world leaders show concern; right-wing politicians rejoice

Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with Russian Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, November 8, 2016. (Alexei Druzhinin/Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)
Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with Russian Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, November 8, 2016. (Alexei Druzhinin/Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday congratulated Donald Trump for his victory in the US presidential elections, saying he hoped to work with him to improve relations, the Kremlin said in a statement.

In a telegram to Trump, Putin “expressed hope for mutual work on bringing US-Russia relations out of their critical condition” and said that “building constructive dialogue” would be in the interest of both countries and of the world community, the Kremlin said.

Russia’s lower house of parliament applauded Trump’s victory. Vyacheslav Novikov, a member of the foreign affairs committee from the governing United Russia party, addressed the State Duma on Wednesday morning, saying, “I congratulate all of you” on Trump’s victory.

The chamber, where the pro-Kremlin party holds an overwhelming majority, broke into applause, state news agency RIA-Novosti reported.

During the presidential race, Washington formally accused the Russian government of trying to “interfere” by hacking US political institutions. Putin has also been accused of favoring Trump — who has praised Putin repeatedly and called for better relations with Moscow.

Russia’s relations with the United States have slumped to a post-Cold War nadir over the conflict in Ukraine and stalled efforts to end the Syrian war.

Iran: Honor nuclear treaty

Other world leaders were also quick to send messages to the president-elect.

Iran’s foreign minister called on Trump to stick to international accords, following comments during the Republican’s campaign that he would tear up the nuclear deal with Tehran.

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif smiles during a meeting with Finland's Foreign Minister Timo Soini in Helsinki on Tuesday May 31, 2016. (Vesa Moilanen/Lehtikuva via AP)
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif during a meeting with Finland’s Foreign Minister Timo Soini in Helsinki on May 31, 2016. (Vesa Moilanen/Lehtikuva via AP)

“Every US president has to understand the realities of today’s world. The most important thing is that the future US president sticks to agreements, to engagements undertaken,” Mohammad Javad Zarif said in Romania.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi was reportedly the first world leader to call Trump to congratulate him, expressing hope “for a new atmosphere in the relationship between the US and Egypt.”

British Prime Minister Theresa May congratulated Trump for his victory, and stressed the importance of the special relationship between UK and the US. “Britain and the United States have an enduring and special relationship based on the values of freedom, democracy and enterprise,” she said.

“We are, and will remain, strong and close partners on trade, security and defense,” she added. “I look forward to working with president-elect Donald Trump, building on these ties to ensure the security and prosperity of our nations in the years ahead.”

German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen called the strong vote for Trump “a big shock,” and the US elections “a vote against Washington, against the establishment.”

Von der Leyen said on German public television that while many questions remain open, “We Europeans obviously know that as partners in the NATO, Donald Trump will naturally ask what ‘are you achieving for the alliance,’ but we will also ask ‘what’s your stand toward the alliance.'”

Jean-Marc Ayrault, French Minister of Foreign Affairs, speaks at the United Nations in New York September 19, 2016. (AFP/Timothy A. Clary)
Jean-Marc Ayrault, French Minister of Foreign Affairs, speaks at the United Nations in New York September 19, 2016. (AFP/Timothy A. Clary)

French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said France would continue to work with the new president, though he expressed concern a Trump victory would send a cautionary message to Europe.

“We don’t want a world where egoism triumphs,” Ayrault said on France-2 television. France’s Socialist government had openly endorsed Clinton.

Ayrault said European politicians should pay attention to the message from Trump voters. “There is a part of our electorate that feels … abandoned,” including people who feel “left behind” by globalization, he said, adding that a Trump victory could bring “more incertitude” to French politics.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe vowed that his country would maintain its close relationship with the US.

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks to reporters at his official residence in Tokyo following a ballistic missile launch by North Korea, August 3, 2016. (AFP/KAZUHIRO NOGI)
Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at his official residence in Tokyo following a ballistic missile launch by North Korea, August 3, 2016. (AFP/KAZUHIRO NOGI)

“I express my heartfelt congratulations on your election as the next president of the United States,” Abe said in a statement. “Japan and the United States are unshakable allies connected by common values such as freedom, democracy, basic human rights and rule of law.”

Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on his Facebook page that Trump’s victory is “great news” and shows “democracy is still alive.”

Orban, who returned to power in 2010 and last year built fences on Hungary’s southern borders to stop the flow of migrants heading toward Western Europe, said in July that Trump’s immigration policies made him the best candidate for Hungary and Europe. In 2014, Orban famously declared his intentions of turning Hungary into an “illiberal state.” His government has also been criticized by the US on issues like corruption, anti-Semitism and media freedom.

Trans-Atlantic ties

The EU’s top officials Donald Tusk and Jean-Claude Juncker invited Trump to an EU-US summit after his stunning victory.

“We would take this opportunity to invite you to visit Europe for an EU-US summit at your earliest convenience,” Tusk and Juncker said in a letter to Trump. “Today, it is more important than ever to strengthen transatlantic relations.”

The European Union’s foreign policy chief said the trans-Atlantic ties with the United States go beyond the election of Trump. Federica Mogherini tweeted that “EU-US ties are deeper than any change in politics. We’ll continue to work together, rediscovering the strength of Europe.”

EU Parliament President Martin Schulz said the result “must be respected,” noting that Trump “managed to become the standard-bearer of the angst and fears of millions of Americans.”

NATO head Jens Stoltenberg said US leadership is essential in facing up to new security challenges as he congratulated Trump, who has alluded to his intention to weaken NATO.

“We face a challenging new security environment, including hybrid warfare, cyberattacks, the threat of terrorism. US leadership is as important as ever,” Stoltenberg said. “I look forward to working with president-elect Trump.”

International right-wing responses

Right-wing politicians from all over the globe celebrated the victory of the businessman, whose campaign platform included stricter immigration control and anti-Muslim rhetoric.

Nigel Farage, who was one of the leaders of the UK’s successful Brexit movement and an adviser to the Trump campaign, tweeted, “I hand over the mantle to @realDonaldTrump! Many congratulations. You have fought a brave campaign.”

The first French presidential candidate to comment on the US election was populist, anti-immigrant politician Marine Le Pen, who congratulated Trump even before the final results are known.

Le Pen, hoping to ride anti-establishment sentiment to victory in April-May French presidential elections, tweeted her support to the “American people, free!”

Dutch anti-Islam populist lawmaker Geert Wilders also tweeted his congratulations to Trump.

Wilders, whose Freedom Party is riding high in opinion polls ahead of elections due in March, called Trump’s win in the presidential election a “historic victory! A revolution.”

Looking ahead to the Dutch vote, Wilders finished his tweet, “We also will give our country back to the people of the Netherlands.”

Wilders is known for his strident anti-Islam rhetoric and opposition to the Netherlands’ European Union membership.

Republican president-elect Donald Trump (R) shakes hands with his running mate Mike Pence at the New York Hilton Midtown in New York on November 9, 2016. (AFP PHOTO/JIM WATSON)
Republican president-elect Donald Trump (R) shakes hands with his running mate Mike Pence at the New York Hilton Midtown in New York on November 9, 2016. (AFP PHOTO/JIM WATSON)

Turkey’s prime minister called on Trump to extradite US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen — blamed by Ankara for the failed coup in July — as soon as he is sworn in.

Binali Yildirim also said he hoped that the new leadership in the United States would take into consideration Turkey’s “sensitivities concerning the fight against terrorism,” give priority to policies that would bring peace and stability to the region and advance traditional friendship between the two countries.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, a bitter critic of President Barack Obama, “looks forward to working with the incoming administration for enhanced Philippines-US relations anchored on mutual respect, mutual benefit and shared commitment to democratic ideals and the rule of law,” his communications secretary, Martin Andanar, said in a statement.

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