Higgins leads tributes to Obama
Elsewhere, British prime minister David Cameron said he has really enjoyed working with Mr Obama "over the last few years and I look forward to working with him again over the next four years".
Speaking from Jordan, Mr Cameron said he wanted to see an EU-US trade deal and action on Syria.
“Right here in Jordan I am hearing appalling stories about what has happened inside Syria so one of the first things I want to talk to Barack about is how we must do more to try and solve this crisis," he said.
“Above all, congratulations to Barack. I’ve enjoyed working with him, I think he’s a very successful US president and I look forward to working with him in the future.”
Middle East envoy Tony Blair said Mr Obama's election victory opened the way for renewed efforts to revive moribund peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.
Russian president Vladimir Putin said he hoped Obama's re-election will have a positive impact on ties with the US.
Foreign minister Sergei Lavrov also said Moscow was ready to take cooperation with the US government as far as Washington was willing to go.
Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh, paid tribute to Mr Obama in a letter, saying "your mandate gives you a historic opportunity to continue to work for the welfare of the American people as also for global peace and progress at an admittedly difficult juncture, not just for the US, but indeed for the world at large."
Simon Schama, a professor at Columbia University in the US, said Mr Obama has done “not a bad job at all” in the face of the “horrendous poison chalice” he was given four years ago in terms of the economic difficulties facing the country.
“Barack Obama in the second term has nothing to lose, it is not the case I think as people kept on saying earlier on in the evening that he is going to be faced with an even more brutally ferocious House, he will, but it means something to have been re-elected.”
Additional reporting: PA