How Enda Kenny’s message to Trump compares to other leaders worldwide

Qualified congratulations to president-elect from Germany, France and Sweden

World leaders offer qualified congratulations to US President-Elect Donald Trump. Video: Reuters

 

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has been criticised for his friendly overtures to the US President-Elect Donald Trump since his election on Tuesday. However, he is far from alone among world leaders who have rushed to reach out to the next US President since the result was announced.

Mr Kenny had previously criticised Mr Trump’s “racist and dangerous” campaigning. On Wednesday, “on behalf of the Government and the people of Ireland”, the Taoiseach offered his “sincere congratulations” to Mr Trump, expressing his confidence that “under his leadership our bilateral relations will continue to prosper.”

Mr Kenny also congratulated Mr Trump’s running mate Mike Pence, who has Irish ancestors.

On Wednesday night, the Taoiseach and Mr Trump had a telephone conversation in which Mr Trump extended an invitation to the White House for St Patrick’s Day next year.

The British prime minister Theresa May welcomed Mr Trump’s election in similar tones to Mr Kenny.

Citing long-standing close relations with the US, she said, “I look forward to working with President-elect Donald Trump, building on these ties to ensure the security and prosperity of our nations in the years ahead.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose agents have been accused of interfering in the campaign to Mr Trump’s advantage, noted his campaign positions approvingly.

“We heard the campaign slogans when he was still a candidate which were aimed at restoring relations between Russia and the United States,” the Kremlin said in a statement.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who has been criticised for interfering with his country’s judiciary and the press, congratulated Donald Trump on his victory

“What a great news. Democracy is still alive,” he wrote on Facebook page

However, French President François Hollande made little effort to hide his displeasure with the result: “Certain positions taken by Donald Trump during the American campaign must be confronted with the values and interests we share with the United States.”

Dutch foreign minister Bert Koenders was terse in his reaction. “We will judge him by his deeds,“ he declared, without congratulating the president-elect on his victory. “The American people have spoken.”

Sweden’s Prime Minister Stefan Löfven was equally unimpressed, but realistic about the years ahead: “I would have preferred Hillary Clinton to win, for a number of reasons. But it is also the case that Sweden will strive to have good relations with the US, no matter who becomes president.”

In a message to Mr Trump, the Chinese premier Xi Jingping said he placed “great importance on the China-US relationship and look forward to working with you to uphold the principles of non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win co-operation.”

The Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has faced criticism in recent months for a crackdown on opposition parties and the Turkish media, said: “Personally and on behalf of the nation, I wish to consider this decision by the American people a positive sign and wish them a successful future.”

The German chancellor Angela Merkel struck a conditional note in her message, offering support on the basis of the “shared values” between Germany and the US, and going to the trouble of spelling out those values: “democracy, freedom, the respect for the law and the dignity of human beings, independent of their origin, skin color, religion, gender, sexual orientation or political position”.

But it was the far-right in the US and around the world that welcomed Mr Trump’s election most enthusiastically.

The leader of the National Front in France, Marine Le Pen, said that the election “should be interpreted as the victory of freedom, of a sovereign people.”

Her father, National Front founder Jean-Marie Le Pen, tweeted: “Today the United States, tomorrow — France.” Ms Le Pen will contest the French presidential election next year.

What they said:

Enda Kenny

“On behalf of the Government and the people of Ireland, I am pleased to offer our sincere congratulations to Donald J. Trump on his election as the 45th President of the United States. 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.

“I also want to congratulate the President-Elect’s running mate, Mr Mike Pence, on his election as Vice-President.

“The Vice President-elect is a proud Irish American who spent many summers in Ireland as a child.”

Angela Merkel

“Germany and America are bound by their values: democracy, freedom, the respect for the law and the dignity of human beings, independent of their origin, skin color, religion, gender, sexual orientation or political position.

“On the basis of these values I offer the future president of the United States, Donald Trump, close cooperation.”

Theresa May

“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.

“I look forward to working with president-elect Donald Trump, building on these ties to ensure the security and prosperity of our nations in the years ahead.”

Vladimir Putin

“We heard the campaign slogans when he was still a candidate which were aimed at restoring relations between Russia and the United States.

“We understand that it will not be an easy path given the current state of degradation in the relations. And as I have repeatedly said, it’s not our fault that Russian-American relations are in such a poor state. But Russia wants and is ready to restore full-fledged relations with the United States.

“I repeat we understand that this will be difficult, but we are ready to play our part, and do everything to return Russian-American relations to stable and sustainable development track.”

Recep Tayyip Erdogan

“The election marks the beginning of a new era in the United States. . . Personally and on behalf of the nation, I wish to consider this decision by the American people a positive sign and wish them a successful future.”

Xi Jingping

“I place great importance on the China-US relationship and look forward to working with you to uphold the principles of non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win co-operation.”