World leaders extend their congratulations

World leaders hailed President Barack Obama’s sweeping re-election, with allies pledging to deepen cooperation with the United States on fighting the world economic slump and maintaining security across the globe.

World leaders extend their congratulations

“We hope that the positive beginnings that have taken hold in Russian-US relations on the world arena will grow in the interests of international security and stability,” Russian news agencies quoted Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying.

Moscow is ready to “go as far as the US administration is willing to go”, foreign minister Sergei Lavrov was quoted as saying by the RIA Novosti news agency.

Chinese president Hu Jintao, is handing over power at a Communist Party congress starting this week, noted “positive progress” in Sino-US relations in the past four years despite tensions over issues such as trade and territorial disputes involving US allies.

China will “look to the future and make continuous efforts for fresh and greater progress in the building of the China-US cooperative partnership,” foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters.

Afghan president Hamid Karzai congratulated Obama, saying he hoped his re-election would lead to “further-expanded” relations.

Pakistani president Asif Ali Zardari said he was confident relations with the US would “continue to prosper”. Tensions had arisen, especially after last year’s US killing of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan and botched air strikes.

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose relationship with Obama has at times appeared tense, said: “I will continue to work with President Obama to ensure the vital security interests of Israel and the United States.” He appeared to throw his support behind Romney during the election campaign.

Elsewhere in the Middle East, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas urged the US leader to pursue peace efforts while Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat said he hoped Obama’s re-election would mean the creation of a Palestinian state in the next four years.

Iran has yet to comment on Obama’s win.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said: “There are so many things that we need to do: We need to kickstart the world economy and I want to see an EU-US trade deal.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel wrote to Obama saying she looked forward to continuing cooperation “so both our countries can continue to stand side-by-side to contend with the important foreign policy and economic challenges that we face as friends and allies”.

French President François Hollande said Obama’s re-election is “a clear choice for an open, united America that is totally engaged on the international scene”.

The Dalai Lama wrote to Obama, saying the president had worked hard “to live up to that great hope and trust placed in you by the American public”.

“I believe you have been re-elected now in recognition of that effort,” the Tibetan Buddhist leader said.

South African President Jacob Zuma said: “We value our relations with the United States and look forward to strengthening bilateral cooperation in the years to come.”

Egypt’s Islamist President Mohamed Morsi also hailed the win, saying he hoped it would strengthen the “friendship between the two countries”.

Turkish President Abdullah Gul said Turkey-US relations were strengthened during Obama’s first term: “We are determined to maintain the positive atmosphere in our relationship and our model partnership in every sphere.”

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