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World greets US election win with optimism -

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World greets US election win with optimism

The World Today - Thursday, 6 November , 2008 12:34:00

Reporter: Karen Barlow

ELEANOR HALL: Returning now to the US election. Barack Obama's win has been greeted by the majority
of world leaders with optimism.

Karen Barlow reviewed the reactions.

KAREN BARLOW: The other side of the globe has now woken to the shift in power in the United States.
Israel's Foreign Minister, Tzipi Livni, expects close ties with the incoming administration.

TZIPI LIVNI: We have a new president, not only of the United States of America, but the president
of the United States is the president of the free world in a way and the leader of the free world -
and Israel is part of the free world - in a way we are in the frontline.

KAREN BARLOW: Hamas has opened the door to talks with the Obama administration, but the Islamist
Palestinian group says its rights and methods must be respected.

The Middle East is not the only diplomatic crisis for the president-elect. There are the two
American-led war zones of Iraq and Afghanistan and the United Nations Secretary-General, Ban
Ki-Moon, is looking for support in the UN Security Council.

BAN KI-MOON: I am confident that we can look forward to an era of renewed partnership and a new

If ever there were a time for the world to join together, it is now.

KAREN BARLOW: American voters may have had greater confidence in the Democratic candidate's take on
the global economic meltdown, but world leaders such German Chancellor Angela Merkel says radical
changes are not needed at the moment.

ANGELA MERKEL (translated): I think it is very important that we have continuity because creating a
financial market constitution will take several months and must be continued by the next

That's why I think it is important and right that we can secure this continuity by Obama
participating at the next G20 summit.

I'm deeply convinced that we have to draw the right consequences from this crisis. But we cannot do
it nationally or on a European basis, but internationally.

KAREN BARLOW: The Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero says Barack Obama's election
brings hope and confidence for a world which is experiencing moments of difficulty and uncertainty.

Those thoughts are echoed by the French President Nicholas Sarkozy who says the American people
have chosen change, openness and optimism.

Asian leaders have also welcomed the American election result. China's President Hu Jintao says he
is looking forward to taking their countries' bilateral relationship of constructive cooperation to
a new level and in Indonesia - where Barack Obama lived as a child - the President Susilo Bambang
Yudhoyono was pleased.

SUSILO BAMBANG YUDHOYONO: Indonesian hopes that president-elect Barack Obama will lead the US as a
force for peace, for progress, for spreading good and for reforming the international system.

KAREN BARLOW: It is a public holiday in Kenya and there has been a quick run on naming newborn boys
after the US president-elect.

KENYAN CITIZEN: Today is the greatest day in our black history see, because the black man overruled
the White House so we are very proud of our own son. We appreciate it. We give thanks to all the
American people. We love you, we love you man, we love you.

ELEANOR HALL: The celebrations in Kenya ending that report from Karen Barlow.