What the World Thinks: Barack Obama
What the World Thinks: Barack Obama

Hope, and cautious optimism prevails towards U.S. President-elect Obama. Many look to him for new leadership on the world stage, tackling and solving the current economic crisis and addressing issues such as the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and global warming. Opinions pieces in major newspapers around the world applaud his victory and analyze how the new presidency will impact their own countries.

South America: Colombia
Europe
: United Kingdom, France, Germany, Croatia, Turkey, Russia
Middle East
: Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Palestinian, Israel
Africa: Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria
Asia: Iran, China, Japan, South Korea, North Korea, Pakistan, Afghanistan

South America

Colombia
Sebastian Castaneda, Columbian student at Hong Kong University
…Fundamental changes in US policies towards Colombia may not be in the agenda. However, changes from Uribe’s government may be more realistic. Uribe’s ego wouldn’t want to leave the Casa de Nari with an approval rating as low as Bush’s. Radical changes have started to take place as the recent developments in the armed forces demonstrate.

Let’s hope that Obama lives up to his hype.

Castaneda, Stebastian. “Bienvenido a Colombia Don Barack.” Columbia Reports. November 5, 2008. http://www.colombiareports.com/opinion/117-cantonese-arepas/1924-bienvenido-a-colombia-don-obama.html

Europe
Margot Wallström of Sweden, Vice President, European Commission
I believe the era of US unilateralism is over, and that partnership with Europe has become a central plank of US foreign policy. In this light, I invite the new US president to join the EU in shaping the future we all want — a stable, peaceful and increasingly prosperous world. A world where development is sustainable and in which democracy is not imposed but nurtured.

“What Europe Wants from Obama.” Der Spiegel. November 5, 2008. http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,druck-588190,00.html

United Kingdom
Daniel Finkelstein, weekly columnist and Comment Editor of The Times. Before joining the paper, he was adviser to both Prime Minister John Major and Conservative leader William Hague

“Here’s how America has changed: The American people are becoming, literally, a different people…The world is changing and with it America’s place in the world.”

Finkelstein, Daniel. “Four reasons why America went for Obama.” The Times. November 4, 2008. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/daniel_finkelstein/article5084046.ece

Mary Riddell, Columnists, The Observer
Now, his relationship with the new president is critical to what he wants to achieve: the reform of fraying global institutions, such as the United Nations and the World Bank, the fulfilment of the Millennium Development Goals to rescue the world’s poorest and the rebuilding of the global economy…

In setting himself up (to some acclaim abroad, if not at home) as a global fixer, Mr Brown needs the goodwill of the president more desperately than any recent predecessor. He must be careful not to pay too high a price or concede too much.

Riddell, Mary. “Gordon Brown has to embrace the new president – but not too tightly.” Telegraph. November 5, 2008. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2008/11/05/do0501.xml

Irwin Stelzer, American Economist, residing in London
…The notion that the new president, having waged a long and hard fight to gain control of the commanding heights of the American economy, will surrender that territory to some international body strikes me as daft. But you can bet on one thing: he will have a nicer and less direct way of saying “no” than his predecessor. He might even endorse a few cosmetic changes in the current system.

The second goal of British and European diplomats is to make certain that once in charge Obama does not put pressure on them to increase their forces in Afghanistan. European politicians have long given the financing of their lavish welfare states and the EU’s high-living bureaucracy priority over military outlays.

Stelzer, Irwin. “Obama’s victory can work to Britain’s advantage.” Telegraph. November 5, 2008. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2008/11/05/do0510.xml

Ian Buruma
The president-elect is seen as something more than an American – he looks like a citizen of the world

And yet, there is something odd about the European mania for a black American politician, even as we all know that a black president or prime minister (let alone one whose middle name is Hussein) is still unthinkable in Europe. Or perhaps that is precisely the point.

…The other reason for the European love affair with Obama is that he is seen as something more than an American. Unlike McCain, the all-American war hero, Obama looks like a citizen of the world. With his Kenyan father, he carries the glamour once associated with Third World liberation movements. Nelson Mandela inherited that glamour; indeed, he personified it. Some of that has rubbed off on Obama, too.

…Yet such projections could never entirely disguise a nagging anxiety. How many Europeans (or Asians, for that matter) would really be happier being subjected to the superior power of China or Russia? Under all the confident-sounding dismissals of US power, there is still some yearning to return to a more reassuring time, when the democratic world could lay its collective head on Uncle Sam’s broad shoulders.

Buruma, Ian. “Europe’s Obamamania.” The Guardian. November 5, 2008.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/nov/05/barackobama-uselections20083

France
Hating America had become en vogue in France during the eight long years of the Bush presidency. Now, the intelligentia is embracing Obama with almost misty-eyed optimism.

As many as 80 percent of the French electorate, according to a weekend survey from the Journal de Dimanche, say they would be ready to vote for a black. Still, a full half of respondents didn’t think a black would have a chance of winning a French presidential election.

Simon, Stefan.”France Enthralled: Sarkozy Looks to Obama Model.” Der Speigel. November 5, 2008. http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,588710,00.html

Nicholas Sarkozy, President, France
That of an open, united and strong America that once again shows the way, alongside its partners, by force of example and by sticking to its principles…

Bernard Kouchner, French foreign minister
American democracy has just lived through a marvellous moment, one of those major turning points that periodically demonstrate its vitality, its belief in the future and its trust in the values on which it was founded over two centuries ago.

Hall, Ben. “France” Financial Times. November 5, 2008. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/0c3c3c72-a516-11dd-b4f5-000077b07658,dwp_uuid=d7fe84a4-a50d-11dd-b4f5-000077b07658.html

Robert Badinter, 80, French senator and member of the foreign affairs and defense committees
My expectation of the new president is that he:

  1. Withdraw US forces from Iraq;
  2. Close the prison at Guantanamo and give all inmates the rights to which they are entitled under US law;
  3. Through his emphatic support he must achieve a just peace between Israel and the Palestinians;
  4. Take an energetic approach to the fight against climate change and ratify the Kyoto Protocol;
  5. Support the International Criminal Court;
  6. Appoint independent and progressive judges to the US Supreme Court.

Badinter, Robert. “What Europe Wants from Obama.” Der Spiegel. November 5, 2008. http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,druck-588190,00.html

Germany

Foreign policy experts on Wednesday expected US president-elect Barack Obama to revitalize transatlantic ties after the troubled Bush administration years – but not everything will be to Berlin’s liking.

Few in Germany will be sorry to see an end to the often confrontational foreign policy of George W. Bush, however, both American and German officials believe Obama will also place unpopular demands on Berlin – including a request for deeper military engagement in Afghanistan.

“Berlin sees ‘completely new’ US foreign policy.” The Local. November 5, 2008. http://www.thelocal.de/national/20081105-15339.html

Der Spiegel Staff
It was a gathering not unlike dozens of others that dot the Berlin social calendar throughout the year. And yet, there was a palpable sense that Tuesday night was different. One could feel a giddy excitement seeping through the suited stuffiness. It was as if Berliners were pooling their psychic power in an effort to will Barack Obama to victory…

“Baracking the World.” Der Speigel. November 5, 2008. http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,588731,00.html

Croatia
Slavenka Drakulic, a native of Croatia, is the best-selling author of “Cafe Europa.”
A View from Mars: I am afraid that we Europeans tend to attribute too much personal power to the president of the United States. We might as well be Martians for all that we demand of the new president. We would like him… to: stop the war in Iraq, divert funding from the military industrial complex and use it to improve the lives of the poor, introduce national health insurance, sit down with Putin and discuss how best to bring peace to the world, persuade China and India to restrict dangerous gas emissions, get rid of the Taliban in Afghanistan, make a deal with Iran, sign the Kyoto Protocol, catch Osama bin Laden and, finally, bring peace to the Israel-Palestine conflict. Of course, all of this should be accomplished in close collaboration with European governments — and all in the first year, possibly in the first days of his presidency.

Being Martians, we can’t see that the job suffers from obvious limitations and that no president is in a position, all by himself, to bring about substantial changes either in politics or in the economy…besides, Martians like to overlook the fact that even Obama would continue to see America as the most powerful nation in the world, and would not be likely to show much more respect for the United Nations or to deny himself a military option for dealing with Iran.

“What Europe Wants from Obama.” Der Spiegel. November 5, 2008. http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,druck-588190,00.html

Turkey
Soli Özel, professor of political science and international relations at Istanbul’s Bilgi University.
One of the things Obama will have to contend with is the fixation Americans have with the idea of American exceptionalism. This philosophy — that everyone is the world must toe the American line — was extreme under Bush. Some humility and capacity for dialogue would be good. I think Obama has the personal character to pursue policy in this way, but it remains to be seen whether he will manage to bring along with him the entire machinery of American foreign policy.

“What Europe Wants from Obama.” Der Spiegel. November 5, 2008. http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,druck-588190,00.html

Russia
Russia’s president Dmitry Medvedev on Wednesday became the first world leader to throw down a gauntlet to US president-elect Barack Obama, declaring that the Kremlin would station missiles in the tiny Russian enclave of Kaliningrad, which borders Poland, in response to US plans for an anti-missile system in Eastern Europe.

…“I think the decision was made to take a tough stand with the United States, giving no concessions to the newly elected president,” said Dmitri Trenin, of the Moscow Carnegie Center, the think-tank.

Clover, Charles. “Medvedev’s challenge to Obama.” Financial Times. November 5, 2008. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/5e3e7000-ab40-11dd-b9e1-000077b07658.html?nclick_check=1

Political scientist Alexander Nagorny
“Obama’s victory is the worst outcome for Russia.” He argues that the president-elect will reduce the intensity of the conflict with the Muslim world, particularly by reducing America’s military presence in the Middle East. In particular, Nagorny anticipates that Obama will withdraw US troops from Iraq within a year and a half and that he will seek to promote moderation in American dealings with Iran. “All of this together will lead to a further drop in oil prices, which is bad for Russia,” he says.

Furthermore, Nagorny expects that Obama will emphasize his democratic convictions, and thus provoke new conflicts with Russia over human rights. Nagorny is only able to find a single positive aspect to Obama’s having been elected: The US, he says, will no longer seek to play such a great role in Georgia or Ukraine. “The risk of military confrontation between the US and Russia will thus be reduced,” he says.

Gathmann, Moritz. “Rockets and Best Wishes for Obama.” Der Spiegel. November 5, 2008. http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,588708,00.html

Middle East

Saudi Arabia
Abdulrahman, a Syrian worker in Saudi Arabia
Obama will be a moderate personality to whom the Arabs can put forth their demands more easily..

Siddique, an Indian businessman in the Kingdom
I feel a solution to the global financial crisis is now possible after this result. I am very happy to hear the news of Obama’s victory and I am assuming that the present economic crisis will soon be over

Muna Al-Serouji, Saudi teacher
I am extremely happy that Obama has won…The world will be different now. Most Arabs were supporting Obama because of their desire to see a new era without wars or bloodshed around the world as well a new strategy for dealing with the problems in the Middle East.

“Change. Any Change.” Saudi Gazette. http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentID=2008110621221

Dawood A. Al Shirian, a Saudi newspaper columnist
We had severe doubts that Obama would win but this is the difference between what really America is and how we think as Arabs… This is a great country – it has proved it is a great country … from now on it will be difficult to accuse America of racism.

England, Andrew and Abeer Allam and Heba Saleh.” Middle East.” Financial Times. November 5, 2008. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/b2935e94-a515-11dd-b4f5-000077b07658,dwp_uuid=d7fe84a4-a50d-11dd-b4f5-000077b07658.html

Egypt
Hosni Mubarak, President, Egypt
We await your constructive participation toward a solution to the Palestinian question and the realization of a just and comprehensive peace, which is the main condition for security and stability in the Middle East

“Egypt’s Mubarak awaits Obama’s Middle East peace efforts.” The Daily News. November 5, 2008. http://www.thedailynewsegypt.com/article.aspx?ArticleID=17609

Dina Ezzat
..the Middle East, particularly, fingers are being crossed that Obama will introduce new policies to contain the Iranian nuclear stand-off that do not include military confrontation, that he will work to stabilise Iraq as well as other hot spots in the region, and make progress towards the ever elusive Middle East peace.

Ezzat, Dina. “Election spillover.” Al Ahram. 30 October – 5 November 2008 Issue No. 920 http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2008/920/fr2.htm

Attiat El Abnoudi, an Egyptian documentary filmmaker
This man is a blessing to the world. I believe he will bring peace. Imagine, it lifted my view of America. This is a society which is capable of correcting its historic mistakes…

This is not about his skin colour. This about the principles he speaks about. It is as if he is talking to me and my generation who came of age in the sixties.

England, Andrew and Abeer Allam and Heba Saleh.” Middle East.” Financial Times. November 3, 2008. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/b2935e94-a515-11dd-b4f5-000077b07658,dwp_uuid=d7fe84a4-a50d-11dd-b4f5-000077b07658.html

Abdel-Rahman Hussein
Initial regional reactions to Barack Obama’s victory in the US presidential elections mirror those in the United States with much to be hopeful about.

But all optimism is tinted with a note of caution; it is impossible to expect dramatic change in a region that has been simmering in turmoil for over half a century.

This caution has been justified by Obama’s first staff appointment, offering the chief of staff position to Democratic Congressman Rahm Emanual. The Chicago representative is the son of an Israeli who was a member of the Irgun, famous for its role in the Deir Yassin massacre of Palestinians in 1948.

…The Egyptian newspaper Al-Badeel said in an editorial that Obama’s victory “doesn’t mean that we’re about to witness a radical change in American policy” and that not much would change for the Arab nations in the region, as US policy is all about “preserving Israel’s superiority over all its Arab neighbors and [having] oil at an acceptable price.”

Hussein, Abdel-Rahman. “Obama’s success potentially beneficial for region, but many are cautious.” Daily News. November 6, 2008. http://www.dailystaregypt.com/article.aspx?ArticleID=17632

Palestinian
Saeb Erekat, aide To Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
We hope the president–elect in the United States will stay the course and would continue the US engagement in the peace process without delay. We hope the two–state vision would be transferred from a vision to a realistic track immediately.

Fawzi Barhum, a spokesman for Hamas
We want (Obama) to support the Palestinian cause or at least not to be biased towards the Israeli occupation. –

“Global Reaction.” Saudi Gazette. http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentID=2008110621224

Israel
Herb Keinon, Jerusalem Post Columnist
Obama will definitely bring a different style, a different “music” to the White House, and – by extension – to Washington’s dealings with Israel.

… One change that Jerusalem is bracing for now is that this criticism may, under Obama, become more vociferous and that the US may be less forbearing of Israel’s failure to remove the settlement outposts. Or, as one official put it, the US is likely to show more “vocal vigilance” in this matter.

… A change in nuance now may mean more of an emphasis in those White House reactions on Israel needing to be careful not to harm civilians, or not to poison the “atmosphere necessary to create peace,” or not to damage attempts by the Palestinian Authority to set up a security apparatus in the West Bank, or to refrain from hurting Palestinian economic opportunities.

Keinon, Herb. “Analysis: A shift in tone.” Jerusalem Post. November 6, 2008. http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1225910044754&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

David Horovitz, Editor-in-Chief, Jerusalem Post
The incoming president will have to make Iraq a priority, to honor his pledge for a speedy resolution of that conflict. But a successful strategy in Iraq also depends on quashing Iranian malevolence. The two must go hand-in-hand; Iran, its thousands of centrifuges spinning, cannot be temporarily put aside.

… All are watching the confrontation between an emboldened Iran and an America that has appeared to be in retreat in this region. All are quietly praying that Obama can reverse that flux.

Horovitz, David. “Analysis: The challenge.” Jerusalem Post.” November 6, 2008. http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1225910044801&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Africa

Kent Mensah and Joseph Appiah-Dolphyne in Accra, Ghana, Emmanuel Pweto in Kinshasa, DRC, Felix Masi in Nairobi, Kenya and Marius Selay in Abidjan Ivory Coast

The entire continent of Africa is in an ecstatic state following the landslide victory of Barack Obama as the first black president of USA. This video shows euphoric reactions of people in Ghana, Congo DR, Ivory Coast and Kenya after hearing Barack Obama won.”There will be change for the people in Africa

Mensah, Kent, Joseph Appiah-Dolphyne, Emmanuel Pweto, Felix Masi, and Marius Selay. “Obama’s victory sets Africa ablaze.” Africa News. November 5, 2008. http://www.africanews.com/site/list_messages/21434

Kenya
Today is a Kenyan public holiday in honor of President-elect Barack Obama. Kisumu city is quiet, save for the barrage of Obama songs playing from speakers, and the loud snippets of Obama-related conversation overheard everywhere.

Most shops have closed to observe the holiday, but American flags and Obama paraphernalia are among the items available for sale downtown.

Business and media outlets are honoring the holiday as well. Kenya’s own Senator beer has been renamed in a special release as “President” lager, and newspapers are publishing special pull-out sections complete with election coverage and commemorative posters of Obama.

Gabel, Katy. “The Day After in Obamaland.” All Africa Blog. November 6, 2008. http://allafrica.com/stories/200811060547.html

President Mwai Kibaki
We the Kenyan people are immensely proud of your Kenyan roots. Your victory is not only an inspiration to millions of people all over the world, but it has special resonance with us here in Kenya.

http://www.africanews.com/site/list_messages/21398

Oyugi Mwenda, a distant relative of Mr. Obama
“We are very elated…We don’t expect very much from the new president. We are just happy that our kin made it to the White House. We just hope that the relations he has with us will do something for Kenyans as a whole.

Kantai, Parselelo. “Kenya.” Financial Times. November 5, 2008. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/e6c29c7a-a515-11dd-b4f5-000077b07658,dwp_uuid=d7fe84a4-a50d-11dd-b4f5-000077b07658.html

Tanzania
Deo Simba, VoicesofAfrica mobile reporter in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Tanzanians hold different views on what to expect out of the US November 4th Presidential election results. Most are hopeful that there will be improved relationship between the US and Africa.

However, there are those who argue that the US foreign policy has always between the same, that is, ensuring that the US and its interests are given top priority everywhere on the globe. It doesn’t matter which government is in power, Democratic or Republican, the policy is the same.

…Fatuma Omar, a school teacher in Dar es Salaam, says she doesn’t see much changes with the coming into office of a new president in America. She says, the US is still at war in many parts of the world, and it is these wars that have contributed to making our world a less secure place to live.

Simba, Deo. “Obama is more diplomatic’- Tanzanians.” All Africa. November 3, 2008. http://allafrica.com/stories/200811060547.html

Nigeria
I am investing Barack Obama with the same legend. For what he has wrought in American politics, he is a black Camelot with all its glittering magical enchantments. Obama is Arthur who having conquered all opposition drew Excalibur, the sword from the stone in which it is buried for centuries and thereafter mounted his stallion and galloped off to make a date with History. And what a history!

.. Barack personifies America as the melting pot, a mélange of all nationalities gathered in one place, a fact noticeable always from the ever surging multi-racial crowd that gather to listen to him speak.

…President elect Barack Obama as a citizen of America and the world holds so much goodwill and prospect, we are waiting with bated breath for them to bear fruits.

“Nigeria: Barack Obama – the Black Camelot.” Daily Trust. November 6, 2008. http://allafrica.com/stories/200811060798.html

Asia

Iran
Despite the dense fog of lies piled up by the corporate media, the U.S. electorate saw through to the truth in almost zero visibility and delivered their verdict on the fanatical Bush administration, which has wreaked havoc at home and abroad for the past eight years, trampling upon the rights of many other nations and people.

.. But the victory of the charismatic Barrack Hussein Obama has brought a glimmer of hope for a better world.

“The world’s candidate wins.” Tehran Times. November 6, 2008. http://www.tehrantimes.com/Index_view.asp?code=181770

27-year-old Rasoul, a PHD student.
I think Obama is much better than McCain. He may help the restoration of Iran-US ties, especially as we know Iran’s presidential elections are coming up (next year) as well

Maryam, a 44-year-old housewife
It makes no difference for us. We want somebody to come to put an end to the wars. That old man (McCain) was warmonger. Obama talks softly

“Iran.” Financial Times. November 5, 2008. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/e493efda-a515-11dd-b4f5-000077b07658,dwp_uuid=d7fe84a4-a50d-11dd-b4f5-000077b07658.html

Omid Nouripour, a native of Iran, is a member of the German Parliament representing the Green Party.
Dear President Obama: I would like to ask you for two things: First and most importantly that you rule out the option of military action against Iran. An attack on Iran would have uncontrollable political consequences in the entire Middle East — from Lebanon to Iraq, the United Arab Emirates and all the way to Afghanistan. Moreover, it would guarantee the re-election of the current President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who otherwise stands very good chances of losing the next election due to his disastrous economic policies.

The second favor I have to ask concerns the vivid civil society in Iran. I put so much emphasis on this point because I intimately know the Iranian people and their will to change things and take their fate into their own hands. The women’s right activists, students, labor unions, journalists, bloggers, artists — they all make up the backbone of the liberation movement in the country. To help these people is to help the cause of democracy and progress. The US cooperation with the Iranian civil society needs to be reorganized.

“What Europe Wants from Obama: ‘Please Don’t Bomb Iran’” Der Speigel.” November 5, 2008. http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,druck-588190,00.html

China
Xu Zhaojun, a student in Beijing
We never thought it possible that a black man could become president of the US

Dyer, Geoff. “China.” November 5, 2008. Financial Times. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/95167d24-a515-11dd-b4f5-000077b07658,dwp_uuid=d7fe84a4-a50d-11dd-b4f5-000077b07658.html

Li Hong and Du Wenjuan
Like American people on the other side of the Pacific, we are excited, too, at the landslide win of Democrat Barack Obama, who will become the 44th President of the United States of America on January 20 next year.

We wish him all the best in bringing America out of the present financial quagmire as soon as possible, and re-energize the world’s largest economy with his brand-new ideas and vision. A strong US economy is in the interest of China and all other countries that trade with it.

.. We hope that America will be a strong proponent for world peace, not a trigger for disputes or even conflicts. Knotty issues including Iran and DPRK nuclear problems can be solved on the negotiating tables.

Hong, Li and Du Wenjuan. “We wish US president-elect Obama well.” China Daily. November 5, 2008. http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/opinion/2008-11/05/content_7176689.htm

Japan
The Japanese have long registered their worry at the way the western superpower has increasingly gone over their heads to reach an understanding with their archrival, the aspiring great power China. This applies not only to the current financial crisis, in which the US and China have already almost been working together as strategic partners. In foreign policy, too, the island nation feels itself increasingly passed over by the US.

Above all Tokyo observes with suspicion the American rapprochement with Stalinist North Korea, which Washington has been promoting with diplomatic assistance from the Chinese. US President George W. Bush recently struck the long maligned “rogue state” from the list of countries sponsoring terrorism. In so doing Bush was rewarding North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il’s willingness to open the country’s nuclear facilities to inspection.

With regard to Afghanistan, the friction between Tokyo and the new US president is clear: Obama wants to strengthen the War on Terror in Afghanistan and thus will likely also pressure Japanese allies to enlarge their commitment.

Wagner, Wieland. “Short on Hope.” Der Spiegel. November 5, 2008. http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,588711,00.html

Prime Minister Taro Aso
As the world confronts a multitude of serious challenges, I believe that the US will continue to make significant advancements under the able leadership of President-elect Obama, in cooperation with the international community

Fujio Mitarai, chairman of the Keidanren business federation
I think it’s a historic victory…I would like the new president to exert strong leadership in order to resolve the current global economic and financial turmoil as soon as possible

Rikiya Fujimura, a 19-year old student
I think he will build the foundation for a new kind of politics in the US.. But, the US under Mr Obama may be less willing to stand up for Japan against antagonistic nations, such as North Korea… Japan had strong ties with Bush, so Obama may be somewhat negative for Japan because of his foreign policy stance of dealing with issues through negotiations

Nakamoto, Michiyo. “ Japan.” Financial Times. November 5, 2008. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/937b89c8-a515-11dd-b4f5-000077b07658,dwp_uuid=d7fe84a4-a50d-11dd-b4f5-000077b07658.html

South Korea
Lee Hye-min, Seoul’s chief free-trade negotiator
To try to renegotiate the agreement when it’s been signed and awaiting ratification by the two sides’ assemblies… you would damage the balance that was achieved when the deal was reached…So renegotiation is difficult. That is our government’s basic position.”
Seoul’s finance ministry

We expect Mr Obama to exercise excellent leadership to overcome the current global economic crisis… and hope the actual economic cooperation between two nations such as the FTA will proceed more solidly and quickly

Jung-A, Song. “South Korea.” Financial Times. November 5, 2008. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/b197685a-a515-11dd-b4f5-000077b07658,dwp_uuid=d7fe84a4-a50d-11dd-b4f5-000077b07658.html

North Korea
“We do not care who comes to the White House, we care if the United States lifts its hostile policy towards the DPRK,” an embassy official said. “Barack Obama, what he says, that dialogue is the right solution, that is something we share.”

Oliver, Christian.”North Korea.” Financial Times. November 5, 2008. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/bcea42d2-ab45-11dd-b9e1-000077b07658,dwp_uuid=d7fe84a4-a50d-11dd-b4f5-000077b07658.html

Pakistan
While congratulating Barack Obama we feel optimistic that with taking oath of the apex office as the President of the United State – he shall be

Lieutenant General (retired) Talat Masood
I expect more emphasis on democracy and more economic support for elected civilian politicians…Unlike the blind support for a military push which was central to the Bush policy, I expect Obama to emphasise more on economic development for mainstream Pakistanis. May be that will begin to turn opinions favourably for the US.

Bohkari, Farhan. “Pakistan.” Financial Times. November 5, 2008. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/499a1bc4-a684-11dd-95be-000077b07658,dwp_uuid=d7fe84a4-a50d-11dd-b4f5-000077b07658.html

Afghanistan
Khalid Pashtoon, an MP from the southern Kandahar province
[Mr Obama was preferred by many Afghans because of] ”his affiliation to Islamic society and that fact that he was raised by a Muslim family”.

“Obama has made clear that the root of the problem in Afghanistan is outside Afghanistan. And the Afghan people know that if we really hit the route of the problem they then peace will automatically return.”

Boone, Jon.” Afghanistan.” Financial Times. November 5, 2008. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/e5877042-a515-11dd-b4f5-000077b07658,dwp_uuid=d7fe84a4-a50d-11dd-b4f5-000077b07658.html me harbinger of peace all-over the world by putting all types of skirmishes wherever they exist – to an eternal end.

We feel certain that the relations between Pakistan and the United States would also be made stronger under the new American leadership. Ties between Pakistan and the United States have stayed cordial.

“Obama – the Victor!” Pakistan Times. November 6, 2008. http://www.pakistantimes.net/2008/11/06/coeditorial.htm

* Pictures:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/andreamann/2931218789/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ocean_of_stars/2979177354/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ocean_of_stars/2581686655/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/faceme/2962112704/

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