Sunday May 31, 2020

Clinton congratulates Trump, admits defeat 'painful'

'Bigger than Brexit': world's political leaders react to Trump victory

9th November, 2016
Hillary Clinton concedes the presidential election in New York. Pic: Getty
Russian President Vladimir Putin. Pic: Getty

Defeated US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has congratulated Donald Trump on his victory and said she would work with him.

Speaking in New York, Clinton said she hoped Trump would be a successful president for all Americans. "This is painful, and will be for a long time," she told supporters.

"We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead", she said of Trump, but warned that American values of equality must be cherished.

Meanwhile, world leaders have been reacting to Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election, offering congratulations and pledging to work with the new US president.

In a statement, Taoiseach Enda Kenny offered “sincere congratulations” to Trump on behalf of the Government and people of Ireland.

“Ireland and the United States have enjoyed a very close and warm relationship for many generations and I am confident that under his leadership our bilateral relations will continue to prosper,” he said.

The Taoiseach added that he intended to work closely with the new administration and the newly elected US Congress on the issue of reform of the US immigration system.

Kenny has previously described some of Trump’s comments as “racist and dangerous”.

British Prime Minister Theresa May referred to the “special relationship” between Britain and the US. She said the two countries would remain “strong and close partners” on trade, security and defence.

Russian President Vladimir Putin sent a message pf congratulations to Trump, saying he hoped the two countries would work together to lift Russian-US relation out of what he described as “the current crisis”.

Putin said he was confident Moscow and Washington could establish “a constructive dialogue based on the principles of equality, mutual respect, and genuine consideration for each other’s positions”.

A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said China looked forward to working with the new US administration to push forward “consistent, healthy and stable” relations.

“Two mature big powers like the US and China will handle things well," spokesman Lu Kang said.

On behalf of the EU, EU Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker issued a letter offering congratulations to Trump an inviting him to visit Europe for a summit meeting.

"Only by cooperating closely can the EU and the US continue to make a difference when dealing with unprecedented challenges such as Da'esh, the threats to Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, climate change and migration," they said.

Meanwhile, the EU’s foreign affairs representative, Federica Mogherini tweeted that the ties between the EU and US were deeper than any change in politics.

In contrast with statements from world leaders, reaction from other European political figures was more enthusiastic.

UKIP’s Nigel Farage said it looked like 2016 would be the year of two big political revolutions, tweeting that Trump’s win would be “bigger than Brexit”.

French National Front leader Marine Le Pen tweeted her congratulations to Trump and the “free” American people.

But Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, while congratulating Trump, said “this is the not the outcome I hope for”.

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