WORLD CAPITALS – Muslim and world leaders welcomed Wednesday, November 7, the re-election of US President Barack Obama to a second term in office after defeating his Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
“It is my hope that President Obama will continue in his efforts to foster understanding and respect between the United States and Muslims around the world,” Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said in a statement cited by The Star.
Obama, America’s first black president, won a second term in office on Tuesday after winning the 270-vote threshold in the Electoral College.
|Muslim Rights in US Election 2012 (File)|
Obama won 303 electoral votes against 206 for Romney.
"Many Malaysians enthusiastically followed the presidential election campaign,” Najib said.
“As a moderate Muslim nation, Malaysia stands ready to help the United States as it seeks to better engage with those of Islamic faith.”
Obama’s re-election also sparked celebrations in his childhood home in Muslim-majority Indonesia.
Egypt’s Islamist President Mohamed Mursi voiced hope that Obama’s re-election would help boost cooperation between the two countries.
"We congratulate the American people on their choice and we hope the newly elected US administration will work to achieve the interests of both the American and Egyptian people," his spokesman Yasser Ali told Reuters.
After winning his first term in 2008, Obama delivered a landmark speech from Cairo where he pledged to repair US relations with the Muslim world after a decade of mistrust under his predecessor George W. Bush.
US-Muslim relations severely deteriorated after the September 11, 2001, attacks on Washington and New York.
Ties hit all-time low under the administration of Bush, over his so-called "war on terror" which saw the invasion of two Muslim countries; Afghanistan and Iraq.
Congratulations also poured on Obama’s re-election to a second term in office.
“I’ve really enjoyed working with him over these last few years and look forward to working with him again over the next four years,” British Prime Minister David Cameron told the BBC.
“There’s so many things that we need to do. We need to kick start the world economy.”
French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici described Obama as a “great president”.
France “saluted with great pleasure” his re-election, Moscovici told RTL radio.
“We work well with his administration,” he said. “It has always been helpful to solve the euro-zone crisis, preserve its integrity and favors a balance between austerity and growth.”
In 2008, Obama inherited a deep economic crisis from his Republican predecessor George W. Bush.
Though many Americans were dissatisfied with Obama’s economic policies, he was helped by the fact that voters blame the recession on the Republicans.
In his first term, Obama has also worked with European leaders to help revive world economy, hit by the Euro zone crisis.
"The United States is a key strategic partner of the European Union and we look forward to continuing the close cooperation established with President Obama over these last four years, to further strengthening our bilateral ties and to jointly addressing global challenges, including in the fields of security and economy," European Union President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barros said in a joint statement.
They also "look forward to meeting President Obama at an early date in order to reconfirm our priorities and provide renewed impetus to our joint action".
Israeli Vice-Premier Silvan Shalom also congratulated Obama on his re-election.
"All the US administrations have supported Israel on the political, security and economic fronts because we have common interests and values," Shalom told public radio.
"Barack Obama has been with us during the most sensitive moments.”
Relations between the Obama administration and Israel have been tense over Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu’s refusal to halt settlement building in the occupied lands to help restart peace talks with the Palestinians."Those who say that it will be hard and that there will be a confrontation during the second Obama term are wrong," Shalom said.