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Wednesday, February 1st, 2023

World leaders react to Donald Trump

PM Malcolm Turnbull has spoken to US President-elect Donald Trump and congratulated him on his win.

The new US President Donald Trump after his victory speech. Picture: Jewel Samad

WORLD leaders, presidents, prime ministers and royalty have offered their thoughts on Donald Trump’s astounding victory as America’s 45th president. The responses — ranging from the friendly to the frosty — help reset the terms of the relationship between the countries of the world and its remaining superpower.

Nowhere is the outspoken Republican’s election being treated with more trepidation than in neighbouring Mexico, after Trump’s campaign promise to build a wall along the USA’s southern border.

President Enrique Pena Nieto in an address on Mexican TV. He told viewers he had spoken with Trump to congratulate him and his family, and they had agreed to meet during the transition period to discuss the US-Mexico relationship. Picture: AP Photo/Rebecca BlackwellSource:AP

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said he had a “cordial, friendly and respectful conversation” with Trump, during which they agreed to meet during the transition period to discuss the relationship between the two countries.

In a brief televised address Nieto said that when Mexico does well, so does the United States, and vice versa. He spoke of opening “new paths of co-operation and prosperity,” while promising to protect the rights and wellbeing of Mexicans everywhere.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau vowed to work with Trump “in a positive way … for the whole world” while Cuba’s foreign ministry rather more tersely said President Raul Castro had “sent a message of congratulations to Mr Trump for his election as president of the United States”.

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French President Francois Hollande said the election of the 45th President of the US ‘reaches far beyond the United States.’ Picture: AFP / Yoan ValatSource:AFP

More pointed comments came from European leaders.

French President Francois Hollande said Trump’s election “opens a period of uncertainty … (that) must be faced with lucidity and clarity” while German Chancellor Angela Merkel offered Trump “close co-operation” on the basis of shared trans-Atlantic values that she said included respect for human dignity regardless of people’s origin, gender or religion.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel offered Trump co-operation … but with conditions attached. Picture: AFP/Christof StacheSource:AFP

Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders said that during the campaign “Trump made statements that were at odds with how we like to see our society and world order” but “we will judge him on his actions”.

But the coolness from western European leaders was offset by guarded enthusiasm from Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country is ready for talks with the new US President to restore ‘full-format relations’. Picture: Sergei Karpukhin / via APSource:AP

President Vladimir Putin said Moscow was ready to try to restore good relations with the US.

“We are aware that it is a difficult path, in view of the unfortunate degradation of relations between the Russian Federation and the United States.” he said, adding: “it is not our fault that Russian-American relations are in such a state.”

Former leader Mikhail Gorbachev echoed the sentiments, saying “the Russian-American relationship could get significantly better” under Trump.

British Prime Minister Theresa May said the UK and US would remain “strong and close partners on trade, security and defence” while Italy’s Premier Matteo Renzi was also cordial, saying “the Italian-American friendship remains strong and solid”.

Chinese President Xi Jinping says he is looking to expand co-operation between China and the US “In all fields”. Picture: AFP/Fred DufourSource:AFP

Chinese President Xi Jinping said he looked forward to working with the President-elect on promoting ties in a “constructive” way that avoided conflict and confrontation.

During his campaign, Trump accused China of illegally subsidising exports, manipulating its currency and stealing intellectual property.

State broadcaster CCTV reported on Wednesday that Xi said the two biggest economies in the world shouldered a “special and important responsibility in upholding world peace.”

Xi said: “I highly value China-US relations and am looking forward to working with you to expand co-operation in all fields.”

He said he expected they would “manage differences in a constructive way.”

The Philippines’ president offered a typically idiosyncratic response.

During a visit to Malaysia on Wednesday, Rodrigo Duterte said: “Long live Mr. Trump! We both curse at the slightest reason. We are alike.”

President of The Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, welcomed Trump as a fellow curser. Picture: AFP/ Mohd RasfanSource:AFP

In the Middle East, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described Trump as a “true friend of the state of Israel”.

“I am confident that President-elect Trump and I will continue to strengthen the unique alliance between our two countries and bring it to ever greater heights,” he said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed the victory of Donald Trump and wants him to fulfil campaign promises to overturn decade of US foreign policy and recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv. Picture: AFP / Jack GuezSource:AFP

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said he was “looking forward to the continued support from the United States and the world in the fight against terrorism, which doesn’t threaten Iraq only, but the whole world.”

Tougher comments came from the leadership in Iran, with President Hassan Rouhani saying the election results show “that this country’s sickness and civil instability will persist for a long time”.

The country’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was similarly blunt.

“This is the American people’s choice. But a person who is the president of the United States should have a correct understanding of the realities of the world and our region and face it realistically. America has accepted the nuclear deal as a multilateral international commitment and it will have to implement the nuclear deal,” he said.