World leaders react to Donald Trump’s US election victory


Politicians past and present, plus officials from the European Union, have been responding to the Republican nominee’s win:


European Union

Top officials at the European Union have invited Donald Trump to Europe for an urgent US-EU summit
In a joint letter, Donald Tusk, president of the European council and Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European commission, congratulated Trump and urged him to come to Europe for talks “at your earliest convenience”.

Tusk and Juncker are seeking reassurance on key issues on which Trump’s remarks on the campaign trial have rattled European leaders, including migration, climate change and Russia’s threat to Ukraine.
The letter said: “It is more important than ever to strengthen transatlantic relations. Only by cooperating closely can the EU and the US continue to make a difference when dealing with unprecedented challenges such as Da’esh [Isis], the threats to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, climate change and migration.”

It added: “We would take this opportunity to invite you to visit Europe for an EU – US summit at your earliest convenience. This conversation would allow for us to chart the course of our relations for the next four years.”

The EU’s foreign affairs chief, Federica Mogherini, gave a diplomatic reaction to Trump’s victory, tweeting: “EU-US ties are deeper than any change in politics.”

Martin Schulz, the president of the European parliament, said the vote was “a protest vote” similar to Brexit. “It began timidly, but this is like a wave, a wave of protest that will lead to Trump in the White House,” Schulz told Europe 1 radio.


Theresa May congratulated Trump on his victory in a hard-fought campaign, saying Britain and the US have “an enduring and special relationship based on the values of freedom, democracy and enterprise”.

She added: “We are, and will remain, strong and close partners on trade, security and defence. 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.”

Number 10 policymakers are already viewing the result through the same prism as Brexit. The head of the No 10 policy board, George Freeman, tweeted: “at its heart this is about a broken contract through the failure of globalised market economics to serve the interests of domestic workers.”

He said the result was “a stunning demonstration of how disempowered low income Americans feel by Washington politics and globalisation”. “The insurgency is a big test for the constitutional protections for liberty and democracy in the UK and the US. It is clear we are living through a genuine crisis of legitimacy sweeping through western political economy”.

He asked whether the EU leaders will wake up to “the roar of anger at globalisation, machine politics, and out of touch elites”. Freeman, who was a fierce critic of the tone of Trump’s campaign and at one point described him as Trumpolini, added: “the key now is how he governs, and who he appoints to his administration”.


French president François Hollande said Trump’s win “opens up a period of uncertainty”. The result showed that France must be stronger, and Europe more united, he added.


The German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, said:

I believe the biggest challenge will be to meet the high expectations that Trump himself has created: to make America great again, also with a view to the economy, to create new jobs in the current economic environment, all that won’t be easy. Above all I hope that we aren’t facing bigger tectonic shifts in international politics.

During his campaign Donald Trump has spoken critically not just about Europe, but particularly about Germany. I think we have to prepare for the fact that American foreign policy will be less predictable for us in the future. We have to be prepared for the fact […] that America will be more inclined to make unilateral decisions in the future.”

The German defence minister, Ursula von der Leyen, said the results were a “huge shock”. She told broadcaster ARD: “I think Trump knows that this was not a vote for him but rather against Washington, against the establishment.”


Spanish reaction to Trump’s victory has been mixed. The country’s prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, congratulated the new president on his victory and vowed to work with him to strengthen Spain’s relationship with an “indispensable ally”.

Spain’s foreign ministry said it was confident that the new era of bilateral relations would serve to “reinforce and consolidate” Spain’s partnership with the US and “deepen the friendship between our countries and peoples”.

But Pablo Iglesias, leader of the anti-austerity Podemos party was less welcoming. Above a picture of the famous black power salute at the 1968 Olympics and an emoji of a clenched fist, he tweeted: “The vaccine against Trump’s fascism is social justice and human rights, not more establishment. There are people in the US who will resist.”


Sweden’s former prime minister Carl Bildt said 2016 was the year of “double disaster” for the west. He tweeted: “At least Richard Nixon had a solid understanding of world affairs. Manoeuvred skilfully. But morally corrupt. And collapsed in disgrace.”


Vladimir Putin sent Trump a telegram to congratulate him. Speaking at a ceremony in the Kremlin, the Russian president said:

We heard the campaign slogans when he was still a candidate which were aimed at restoring relations between Russia and the United States.

We understand that it will not be an easy path given the current state of degradation in the relations. And as I have repeatedly said, it’s not our fault that Russian-American relations are in such a poor state. But Russia wants and is ready to restore full-fledged relations with the United States.

I repeat we understand that this will be difficult, but we are ready to play our part, and do everything to return Russian-American relations to stable and sustainable development track. This would serve the interests of both the Russian and American peoples, and would have a positive effect on the general climate of global affairs given the special responsibility of Russia and the US to sustain global security.”

Garry Kasparov, former world champion turned vocal opponent of Putin, tweeted simply: “Winter is here.”
Sergei Markov, a pro-Kremlin political analyst, was jubilant at the result. He said a Trump presidency would mean more chance that the US would agree with Russia in Syria, and less American backing for “the terroristic junta in Ukraine”. He denied allegations of Russian interference in the election, but said “maybe we helped a bit with Wikileaks”.

Alexei Venediktov, the editor in chief of Russia’s liberal Echo of Moscow radio, said some in the Kremlin are probably celebrating now, but other “more serious” people will realise there are unpredictable times ahead.
“Putin doesn’t like unpredictability and Trump is the definition of unpredictability,” he said. “They celebrated Brexit, and then Boris Johnson became foreign secretary, and they thought, ‘Oh God, what is this?’”
Venediktov said in Syria and Ukraine, two key areas where Russia and the US are at loggerheads, there might be little difference between Trump and Clinton in the White House. “What will be really interesting is the Baltics. Will Trump remove troops from there?”

At a morning reception his residence in Moscow held as Trump edged ever closer to the White House, US ambassador to Russia John Tefft reminded visitors that diplomats are unable to give personal opinions on elections. He added: “Whether you’re happy or not, one of the key things here is to understand that our institutions in America will continue.”

Privately, however, many US diplomats in the country will be wondering whether a President Trump means a total reversal on Russia policy. Tefft’s predecessor in the role, Michael McFaul, wrote on Twitter: “Putin intervened in our elections and succeeded.”

Middle East


The news was met with jubilation by rightwing politicians in Israel, including the country’s education minister Naftali Bennett, who declared that Trump’s victory meant “the era of a Palestinian state is over”.
“Trump’s victory is an opportunity for Israel to immediately retract the notion of a Palestinian state in the centre of the country, which would hurt our security and just cause. This is the position of the president-elect, as written in his platform, and it should be our policy, plain and simple.”

Trump is popular among the Israeli rightwing not least for having said that one of his first acts would be to reverse years of American government policy and move the US embassy to Jerusalem.

Commenting explicitly on that promise, Jerusalem’s mayor Nir Barkat congratulated Trump as a “devoted supporter of Jerusalem”, adding that he expected the Trump to move the US embassy to the capital. “I am full of hope for your support for our activities for building in and developing Jerusalem for all her residents, and I invite you to visit the capital of Israel.”


The news of Trump’s election was greeted cautiously by Palestinian figures. A spokesman for the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbassaid: “We will deal with any president elected by the American people on the principle of achieving permanent peace in the Middle East based on the two state solution on June 4 1967 lines with east Jerusalem as its capital.”


The first official reaction from Iran came from the country’s atomic energy agency. A spokesman from the organisation was quoted by the semi-official Tasnim news agency as saying that Tehran would continue abiding by last year’s landmark nuclear deal.

Behrouz Kamalvandi said: “Iran is prepared for all kind of change” and that the country “would continue implementing the Barjam,” (the Iranain acronym for the nuclear accord).

Tasnim, which is affiliated to the elite Iranian Revolutionary Guards, saw Donald Trump’s win as a vindication of the Iranian supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who said last week that the American businessman appeared to be the one saying the truth about the state of affairs in the US.

Referring to Trump, Khamenei said last week: “What is interesting is that the person who spoke more candidly attracted more attention from the people of America. Because that man spoke more candidly and more openly, the people of America paid more attention to him.”

“The other party [Clinton’s camp] said that he is adopting a populist method. Why populist? It is because the people were watching him and they saw that what he was saying was correct. They saw it in the realities of their life. Human values have been annihilated and trampled upon in that country. There is racial discrimination in that country.”

Fouad Izadi, a political analyst sympathetic to the conservative camp in Iran, said Trump’s presidency would be better for Iran than that of Clinton’s. “The only advantage of having Trump over Clinton in regards to Iran is that he would have much more difficulties in bringing together the international community in order to make obstacles for Iran,” he told Tasnim. Analysts such as Izadi think that much of pressure on Iran in the past was because Obama had managed to persuade the US’s European allies to rally behind Washington in imposing sanctions on Iran. They think Trump lacks the credibility to do so in case the nuclear deal falls apart.”



Argentina’s foreign minister, Susana Malcorra, said a Trump win would stall moves to improve relations between the countries due to the “more closed, isolationist and xenophobic” model he represented.
President Mauricio Macri has pursued closer ties between Argentina and the US.

Malcorra told Argentine television channel Todo Noticias that the conservative government of Maurico Macri had opened a new phase of cooperation and trade with Washington after years of strained relations under former president Cristina Fernandez. But there would be a “big stop” in this process if Trump won.


Mexico’s former presidential candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador called for calm. In a video on Facebook he said Mexico was “a free, independent, sovereign country”. “It is not a colony, it is not a protectorate, it does not depend on any foreign government.”



A spokesperson for China’s foreign ministry said Beijing was looking forward to working with the new administration.

“We will work with the new US president to ensure the steady and sound development of bilateral relations so as to benefit the people in both countries as well as around the world,” Lu Kang told reporters at a regular press briefing in the Chinese capital.

Lu said any future disputes over trade could be settled “in a responsible manner” and hinted at Chinese concerns over the possibility that Trump might introduce protectionist measures.
“I would like to say that China and US trade cooperation has benefited the US people rather than hurting their interests,” he said.

Ding Qiushi, the founder of an online fan club dedicated to the new US president, said he was delighted and taken aback by the result having almost given up on Trump’s chances of reaching the White House in recent weeks.

“I never thought he would lead by so much. I kind of lost hope after [his comments about grabbing women] were exposed so I was very surprised when I saw the result,” said Ding, a 28-year-old chemist from the city of Nanjing.

Ding said he admired Trump’s “flexibility and temperament” and believed he would “make America more conservative, for sure”.

The state-run Xinhua news agency said the campaign highlighted that “the majority of Americans are rebelling against the US’s political class and financial elites”.

The official Communist party newspaper People’s Daily said the presidential election reveals an “ill democracy”.

In the run-up to the election China was seen as favouring Trump because he appeared less willing to confront China’s newly robust foreign policy, particularly in the South China Sea. Clinton, by contrast, is disliked in Beijing for having steered the US “pivot” to Asia aimed at strengthening US engagement with the region.
Writing in the Communist party newspaper Global Times, scholar Mei Xinyu said: “From a comprehensive view it would make it easier for China to cope if Trump is elected. This is because under the policy line advocated by Obama and Clinton, the political and military frictions between China and the US will be more frequent.”
The US ambassador to China, Max Baucus, said “the world’s most important relationship” between Beijing and Washington would remain stable regardless of the outcome. Asked by a Chinese reporter about Trump’s proposal for a 45% tariff on Chinese goods imported in the US, Baucus said “people say a lot of things in the heat of a campaign that are not quite as feasible as they think when they’re elected”.


The Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte, who branded Obama a “son of whore” earlier this year, offered “warm congratulations” to Trump. Duterte, who has expressed outrage almost daily with the Obama administration and threatened repeatedly to end one of Washington’s most important Asian alliances, hailed the success of US democratic system and the American way of life, according to his communications secretary Martin Andanar.
Duterte “looks forward to working with the incoming administration for enhanced Philippines-US relations anchored on mutual respect, mutual benefit and shared commitment to democratic ideals and the rule of law,” Andanar said.


Japan, a key US ally, said it would work closely with Donald Trump to ensure stability in the Asia-Pacific region.

“There is no change to the fact that the Japan-US alliance is the cornerstone of Japanese diplomacy, and Japan will cooperate closely with the US for peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region and the world,” the chief cabinet secretary, Yoshihide Suga, told reporters shortly before Trump was confirmed as president-elect.
Katsuyuki Kawai, an aide to the Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, said he was planning to fly to Washington to meet Trump officials as early as next week.

Officials in Tokyo denied that Abe had decided to send Kawai to the US because Japan had failed to prepare for a Trump victory.
“We have been preparing to respond to any situation, because our stance is that our alliance with the US remains the cornerstone of our diplomacy, whoever becomes the next president,” Suga said.


Pakistan’s former president and army chief Pervez Musharraf congratulated Trump on “his historic election”. Writing on Facebook, he said the president-elect “should not quit from Afghanistan”, the country where some US and international forces remain in place.

“I hope he will focus keenly to bring peace and stability around the world and demonstrate deliberate leadership in resolving the conflicts in the Indo-Pakistan subcontinent,” he wrote. “We must trust and work together to crush terrorism and eliminate extremism from a position of strength.”


Prime minister Najib Razak – embroiled in a corruption scandal at home that is being investigated in the United States – has sent a very admiring congratulatory message.

“Mr Trump’s success shows that politicians should never take voters for granted. Opinion polls, and established political figures, all underestimated the strength of his support. His appeal to Americans who have been left behind – those who want to see their government more focused on their interests and welfare, and less embroiled in foreign interventions that proved to be against US interests – have won Mr Trump the White House.

He added the US and Malaysia “are firm allies in the worldwide fight against terrorism and extremism.”
• Reporting from Matthew Weaver, Patrick Wintour and Saeed Kamali Dehghan in London, Jennifer Rankin, Kate Connolly in Berlin, Sam Jones in Madrid, Tom Philips in Beijing, Shaun Walker in Moscow, Jon Boone in Islamabad, and Oliver Holmes in Bangkok

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