Reactions from world leaders to the shocking presidential victory of Donald Trump steadily trickled in early Wednesday. Most ― even from leaders who’d been critical of Trump in the past ― offered diplomatic congratulatory statements.
Responses from Europe were mixed.
U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May offered a diplomatic response.
“I would like to congratulate Donald Trump on being elected the next president of the United States, following a hard-fought campaign,” May said in a statement. “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 defence.”
She looks forward to working with Trump, she added, even though she’s criticized him in the past.
“The American people have expressed themselves,” French president François Hollande said in a cool statement released by his office. “They elected Donald Trump. I congratulate him. I am also thinking of Hillary Clinton.”
“If the Americans choose Trump, that will have consequences, because an American election is a world election,” Hollande warned in August, noting that Trump made him physically sick to his stomach.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel also weighed in, but did not actually mention Trump by name.
“Germany and America are connected by values of democracy, freedom, and respect for the law and the dignity of man,” she said Wednesday. “I offer the next president of the United States close cooperation on the basis of these values.”
Miro Cerar, the prime minister of Slovenia, offered his congratulations on Twitter, accentuating the world “love” in his hashtag.
The country is the birthplace of first-lady-to-be Melania Trump. Trump has only visited once, and the sojourn only lasted a few hours.
Russian President Vladimir Putin sent a telegram to offer his congratulations.
“Putin expressed hope for joint work to restore Russian-American relations from their state of crisis, and also to address pressing international issues and search for effective responses to challenges concerning global security,” the Kremlin said in a statement.
Trump has often stated his affinity for Putin and his intention to restore ties with Russia.
Many Russian media outlets actually predicted a Clinton victory on Election Day, according to Moscow-based reporter Steve Rosenberg.
Some circulated conspiracy theories, suggesting corruption exists in the U.S. electoral process. “The American elite, which supports the aggressive spreading of democracy around the world, is doing everything so that Hillary Clinton wins,” one paper claimed Tuesday, as translated by Rosenberg. “Clinton will surround us with nuclear rockets,” it added, warning of American influence over Russian politics.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko also offered his congratulations.
Viktor Orbán, Hungary’s nationalist leader best known for his campaign to halt the arrival of refugees, appeared thrilled by the Trump news:
Czech President Milos Zeman tweeted his delight with the outcome. “I agree with Trump’s views on migration and the fight against Islamic terrorism,” he wrote.
“Canada has no closer friend, partner, and ally than the United States,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a congratulatory statement. “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.
In the Middle East, a handful of leaders also delivered words of congratulations.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was particularly emphatic.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi nodded to the ongoing U.S.-led campaign to free the city of Mosul from the so-called Islamic State:
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi spoke to Donald Trump on the telephone on Wednesday, an Egyptian presidency statement told Reuters.
“The U.S. President-elect Donald Trump expressed his utmost appreciation to the president, pointing out that his was the first international call he had received to congratulate him on winning the election,” the statement said. “President Trump said he looked forward to meeting the president (again) soon.”
Sisi said he hoped to strengthen bilateral ties.
Meanwhile, Iranian president Hassan Rouhani reportedly said “The U.S. election results will have no impact on the policies of the Islamic Republic,” according to The Guardian. “Because of wrong policies, the position of America in the international community and world’s public opinion has diminished and [the U.S.’] growing rift with Europe and the world will exacerbate that position,” he said in a cabinet meeting Wednesday, according to the outlet.
Asian heads of state offered more verbose proclamations about Trump’s victory.
“As a very successful businessman with extraordinary talents, not only you made a great contribution to the growth of the US economy, but now as a strong leader, you have demonstrated your determination to lead the United States,” Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in a statement. “In the 21st Century, the Japan-U.S. alliance serves as an ‘Alliance of Hope,’ which contributes to addressing the challenges the international community faces. I intend to work with you hand-in-hand to address the various challenges the world confronts.”
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered kind and diplomatic words via Twitter. India is a longtime ally of the United States.
Chinese President Xi Jinping offered his congratulations as well.
“As the largest developing country and the largest developed country, China and the US shoulder a special responsibility,” Jinping said in a phone call to Trump, according to CCTV. China “hopes to develop a sound, long-term and stable relationship with the US” and that he aims to “settle all disputes with the US in accordance with the principle of non-confrontation.”
Rodrigo Duterte, president of the Philippines, sent Trump a welcoming message on Wednesday.
“President Duterte wishes President-elect Trump success in the next four years as Chief Executive and commander-in chief of the U.S. military, and 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,” his Office of Communications Secretary said in a statement.
This is a serious departure from Duterte’s rhetoric on current President Barack Obama, which has at times featured epithets, including when Duterte called Obama a “son of a whore.”
Argentine President Mauricio Macri tweeted, in part, “I hope that we can work together for the good of our people.”
Despite Trump’s occasionally tense relations with Mexico due to the big, beautiful wall he has promised to build, the Mexican president’s reaction to the news was rather muted.
“I congratulate the United States on its electoral process and reiterate to @realDonaldTrump my readiness to work together,” he said.
Rwandan President Paul Kagame weighed in also.
And the Catholic Church’s highest-ranking diplomat said he hopes Trump can be “enlightened.”
“We wish the new president well, that he may have a truly fruitful government,” Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin said.
Pope Francis, meanwhile, called for acceptance and cooperation without naming the president-elect.
Outgoing United Nations Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon congratulated Trump on his victory and offered a reminder of the important role America plays on the global stage.
“People everywhere look to the United States to use its remarkable power to help lift humanity up and to work for the common good,” he said in a statement released Wednesday morning. “The United Nations will count on the new Administration to strengthen the bonds of international cooperation as we strive together to uphold shared ideals, combat climate change, advance human rights, promote mutual understanding and implement the Sustainable Development Goals to achieve lives of peace, prosperity and dignity for all.”
He also praised Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton for her “lifetime commitment to peace, the advancement of women and the well-being of children,” noting she is a global symbol of women’s empowerment.
Trump gave a conciliatory speech early Wednesday, thanking Clinton for a hard-fought battle and promising to work tirelessly on behalf of the American people.