Leaders around the world are reacting to the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States. Not all of them are happy to welcome Mr. Trump to their ranks.
The Muslim Brotherhood, for example, is fit to be tied. “Goliath is coming himself, with his horses and men… what our nation has witnessed in the last period is something and what is to come is something different. God willing it will be for us not against us,” thundered Mamdouh al-Muneer, a member of the supreme body of the Freedom and Justice Party, as quoted by Middle East Monitor.
Also nonplussed was Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who effortlessly fooled the entire Obama Administration into thinking he was a “moderate” who only needed a few billion dollars of American cash to turn Iran into a peace-loving, classically liberal democracy that only wants nuclear power because oil is icky. Meanwhile, Iran was stocking up on American hostages and demanding fresh ransom payments.
“The results of the U.S. election have no effect on the policies of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Iran’s policy for constructive engagement with the world and the lifting of nuclear-related sanctions have made our economic relations with all countries expanding and irreversible,” said Rouhani, confident that Trump would not be able to alter Barack Obama’s nuclear deal.
How about the Islamic State? Well, things are a bit rough in Mosul at the moment, but the pro-ISIS Nashir Political Service looked for a silver lining in the American election, hoping that it would “lead to civil war and the eventual bankruptcy of the U.S. economy due to anti-Islamic and jingoist policies.”
The rest of the world was much more upbeat about the election. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said it was a reminder that “the unity in diversity of the United States is one of the country’s greatest strengths.”
“We heard the campaign statements of the future US presidential candidate about the restoration of relations between Russia and the United States,” said Russian President Vladimir Putin. “It is not an easy path, but we are ready to do our part and do everything to return Russian and American relations to a stable path of development. This would be good for both the Russian and American people and have a positive impact on the climate of world affairs.”
Putin’s comments were relayed by the BBC, which also found China politely supportive.
“US China trade relations are mutually beneficial. Two mature big powers like the US and China will handle things well,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang. “We look forward to working together with the new US administration to push forward consistent, healthy and stable China-US relations which could be beneficial to the people of the two countries and to the world.”
China’s President Xi Jinping sent a message to Trump as well: “I highly value China-US relations, and look forward to working together with you, and holding fast to mutual respect and non-conflict, non-confrontation.”
“We look forward to working very closely with President-elect Trump, his administration, and with the United States Congress in the years ahead, including on issues such as trade, investment, and international peace and security,” said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who added that his country “has no closer friend, partner, and ally than the United States.”
The response from beyond America’s other land border was more muted. Much more muted. “Conspicuously, [Mexican] President Enrique Pena Nieto does not congratulate Mr Trump on his victory,” the BBC noted.
Nieto’s office eventually did emit a Tweet declaring that “Mexico and the United States are friends, partners and allies and we should keep collaborating for the competitiveness and development of North America.”
“I would like to congratulate Donald Trump on being elected the next president of the United States, following a hard-fought campaign,” said British Prime Minister Theresa May. “Britain and the United States have an enduring and special relationship based on the values of freedom, democracy and enterprise. We are, and will remain, strong and close partners on trade, security and defense. 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.”
The Guardian quoted May’s remarks, which naturally had to add the far less effervescent remarks of Labour’s leader Jeremy Corbyn that many Britons would be “understandably shocked by Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election, the rhetoric around it and what the election result means for the rest of the world, as well as America.”
Corbyn overcame his own shock to declare that Trump’s victory was the “unmistakable rejection of a political establishment and an economic system that simply isn’t working for most people” because it “delivered escalating inequality and stagnating or falling living standards for the majority, both in the US and Britain.”
Corbyn’s congratulations swiftly mutated into something that sounded suspiciously like a slam at the man of the hour. He said he has “no doubt that the decency and common sense of the American people will prevail,” offered the United Kingdom’s solidarity with “a nation of migrants, innovators, and democrats,” and said the alternative to the “failed economic and political system” of the world must be “based on working together, social justice, and economic renewal, rather than sowing fear and division.”
Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage was far more excited about Tuesday night’s results:
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) November 9, 2016
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte offered his congratulations plus a wish of long life to Donald Trump.
Duterte, who Reuters notes has been dubbed the “Trump of the East” because of his “unrestrained rants and occasional lewd remarks,” said he had a few things in common with the new U.S. president: “We are both making curses. [sic] Even with trivial matters we curse. I was supposed to stop because Trump is there. I don’t want to quarrel anymore, because Trump has won.”
French president Francois Hollande, who said in August that Donald Trump’s “excesses make you want to retch,” appears to have regained control of his bile ducts, but still was not brimming with enthusiasm for the incoming Trump Administration.
The Washington Post observes that Hollande offered implicit support to Hillary Clinton on Election Day, then warned on the morning after the election that Trump’s victory “opens a period of uncertainty.”
“I congratulate him as is natural between two democratic heads of state,” Hollande said.
“We wish the new president well, that he may have a truly fruitful government. We pledge to pray that God enlightens him and supports him in the service of his country of course, but also in the service of wellbeing and peace in the world,” said Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State. “I think today everyone needs to work to change the global situation, which is one of deep laceration and serious conflict.”
German chancellor Angela Merkel offered “the future president of the United States, Donald Trump, close cooperation,” based on the “shared values” between Germany and the United States.
As Deutsche Welle points out, Trump has described Merkel’s immigration policy as a “total disaster.” Some members of Merkel’s government expressed reservations about Trump’s election, such as Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who predicted “Nothing will be easier, a lot will be more difficult.”
“We don’t know how Donald Trump will govern America. But we have to accept the result and we will accept it,” said the Foreign Minister.
German opposition leaders were even harsher in their criticism, with Green Party leader Cem Ozdemir calling Trump’s election a “break with the tradition that the West stands for liberal values.”
“He’s a simple soul, not particularly well-educated, he’s coarse,” sniffed Gregor Gysi, former leader of the Left party. “We’ve never had anything like this in this form as president of the United States, even though there have been what I would consider bad presidents before. I think this will give right-wing populism a new boost in Europe.”