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World reacts to Obama win

Reactions from around the world pour in to news Barack Obama has won the US Presidential election.

PT1M10S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-28yog 620 349

Obama heralded 'a better president' for Islamic world

INDONESIA: Indonesian commentators welcomed the Obama victory, saying he was a better president for the mostly Muslim nation than Romney.

Luthfi Assyaukanie, the co-founder of the Liberal Islam Network, said Mr Obama's foreign policy was ''more sympathetic to Islamic countries''.

Young supporters ... students at Jakarta's Menteng elementary school, where President Barack Obama once attended, watch the election vote counting.

Young supporters ... students at Jakarta's Menteng elementary school, where President Barack Obama once attended, watch the votes being counted. Photo: AP

''US defence policy for Indonesia under president George W. Bush partly lifted the US arms embargo to Indonesia after 9/11, but Obama's administration lifted it entirely because Obama saw how strategic Indonesia could be in the context of fighting terrorism,'' he said.

Din Syamsuddin, the chairman of one of the world's largest popular Muslim organisations, Muhammadiyah, also said he preferred Mr Obama: ''There is 'another world' at international level … the Islamic world which is rich in both population and natural resources. There are about 1.6 billion Muslims in the world who can be a market for the US.''

Another activist and noted moderate intellectual, Zuhairi Misrawi, said Mr Obama needed to start putting his money where his mouth was when it came to Islam: ''[In the future] I think the US and Islamic countries must hold many dialogues, and try to produce agreements beneficial for both.''

Indonesian

Barack Obama and Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

Michael Bachelard

Israel ties in need of some multi-layered massaging

ISRAEL: Israel awoke to the news it faced what many see as a political and diplomatic relationship in need of rehabilitation.

The close relationship of the Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, with US casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson, who devoted millions to Mr Romney, was noted by the Obama administration, Eytan Gilboa of the Begin-Sadat Centre for Strategic Studies said.

''This is not a good development … to see Democrat perceptions that the Israeli Prime Minister is actively intervening in the US election,'' Professor Gilboa said.

But Israel's US ambassador, Daniel Shapiro, said the Israel-US relationship was ''beyond a strategic alliance''.

Criticisms of Mr Netanyahu were quick to emerge. ''The Prime Minister hurt Israel with his arrogant and incomprehensible involvement on the side of Mitt Romney,'' Shlomo Molla, an MP for the opposition Kadima party, told the Jerusalem Post.

The Palestinian peace negotiator Saeb Erekat said Palestinians hoped Mr Obama would work to end Israel's occupation and realise the establishment of a Palestinian state on 1967 borders ''living side-by-side in peace with the State of Israel''.

Ruth Pollard

India, the emerging economic giant, welcomes the win

SOUTH ASIA: Barack Obama is popular in India, especially since he visited two years ago and declared the country had arrived as a world power.

The President, Pranab Mukherjee, and Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, sent congratulations, a spokesman said. Keen to harness that goodwill, US policy towards India is not likely to change much over a second Obama term.

The US wants to broaden its economic ties with Asia's emerging giant, as well as strengthen its military and counter-terrorism co-operation.

Pakistan, America's proclaimed ally in the war on terrorism but the target of a relentless US drone bombing campaign, was the only one of 21 countries surveyed by the BBC that preferred Mitt Romney to Mr Obama.

But in a country where anti-US sentiment runs broad and deep, most Pakistanis disliked both candidates. Only 14 per cent of Pakistanis polled approved of Mr Romney, compared with 11 per cent for Mr Obama.

Mr Obama's commitment to the drone campaign in northern border regions has alienated many Pakistanis. ''In Pakistan not only is anti-Americanism rife, much of it has been aimed at Obama,'' former diplomat Najmuddin Shaikh wrote in the Dawn newspaper.

The already tortuous, but crucial, relationship with Pakistan will be tested further, Mr Shaikh wrote, as US troops leave Afghanistan.

Ben Doherty