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German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose response to Trump's win took aim at some of the controversial remarks from his campaign. (Photo: Reuters)

From Cheers to Caution, World Leaders React to Trump Victory

French President François Hollande said the result "opens a period of uncertainty."

Andrea Germanos

As shock waves went global over Donald Trump's defeat of Hillary Clinton, world leaders on Wednesday offered their takes on the outcome, which has the potential to "upend the international order." 

While offering his congratulations, French President François Hollande said the result "opens a period of uncertainty." He said that "certain positions taken by Donald Trump during the American campaign must be confronted with the values and interests we share with the United States." He added that "what is at stake is peace, the fight against terrorism, the situation in the Middle East. It is economic relations and the preservation of the planet."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Agence France-Presse reports,

referenced some of [the president-elect's] most controversial remarks in reminding Trump of his responsibilities: "Germany and America share the values of democracy, freedom, respect for the rule of law and human dignity, regardless of origin, skin colour, religion, gender, sexual orientation or political belief."

Merkel added, "I think we have to face it that American foreign policy will be less predictable for us, and we must be sure that America will be inclined more often to decide alone."

Her remarks, Huffington Post writes, "are likely issued as a pointed warning to Trump, who has called for all 1.6 billion members of a religion to be banned from the U.S. to prevent terror attacks."

In the U.K., "where Trump's victory had echoes of last June's referendum in which voters showed dissatisfaction with the political establishment by voting to leave European Union," Reuters writes, Prime Minister Theresa May, who shuttered her government's climate change office, stated that she looks forward to working with the Republican and that their two countries will "remain strong and close partners on trade, security, and defense."

As for reaction in Greece, AFP reports: "A source close to Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras admitted to being 'worried about the questions of respect for human rights and minority rights' in the U.S.."

Addressing the fate of the nuclear deal Iran and world powers agreed to in 2015, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that the accord "cannot be overturned by one government's decision." Trump previously said his "number one priority is to dismantle the disastrous deal with Iran." 

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reacted to Trump's win saying the real estate mogul is "a true friend of the State of Israel," while Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett said he hoped a Trump presidency would mean that "[t]he era of the Palestinian state is over."

Russian President Vladimir Putin sent his congratulations to Trump, saying the win could help build "a constructive dialogue between Moscow and Washington on the principles of equality, mutual respect, and real consideration for each other's position."

In India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he hoped to "take India-U.S. bilateral ties to a new height."

In Japan, where residents expressed "worry" over the upcoming administration and the Nikkei stock index plummeted, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe—who's pushed the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal Trump campaigned against—said, "Japan and the United States are unwavering allies, firmly bound by the bonds of our universal values—freedom, democracy, basic human rights, and the rule of law."

Among those offering warm praise were noted anti-migrant officials in Europe.

Hungary's right-wing Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who previously called migrants "poison," wrote on his Facebook page that Trump's win was "great news. Democracy is still alive."

Czeck President President Milos Zeman—who previously declared that "integration of the Muslim community [in Western Europe] is practically impossible"—said he was "very happy" about Trump's win, adding that he "agree[s] with his opinions on migration as well as the fight against Islamic terrorism" and appreciates Trump's avoidance of "political correctness."

Marine Le Pen, head of France's Front National, tweeted, "Congratulations to the new President of the U.S., Donald Trump, and the American people—free!” while the party's vice president, Florian Philippot, tweeted a photo of Le Pen and stated, "Their world is collapsing. Ours is being built."

Taking stock of what a Trump presidency could mean, one Irish observer writes, "This is a New Frontier indeed."


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