Barack Obama a Year Later: The World View

"My hope is for peace," street vendor Abdul Hai said. "I don't want suicide attacks or bombs. I am happy as a street vendor. I don't want anything more but security.''

The Afghans are generally a resilient population. Perhaps 19-year-old high school student Ramin Ishaque summarized the mood best.

"There have been a lot of promises to help with the economy here, but nothing has been done," Ishaque said. "I am optimistic. I'm always optimistic that there will be changes for the better. But so far, nothing has been done.''


Obama's inauguration was met more cautiously in Pakistan, where there was a tempered hope for change.

"His approach and policy is better and should have a better impact on Pakistan," Gen. Talat Masood, a former Pakistani secretary of defense, told ABC News.

But, Masood added, there is a feeling that Obama has been unable to address the core issues that are of concern to Muslims, in general, and Pakistan, in particular.

"There has been no progress on the Palestine issue or Kashmir issue and no understanding of sensitivity in the Islamic world which he mentioned in his speech," Masood said.

Even so, Masood preached patience, saying Obama needs time to successfully put his policies into practice.

Others were not so forgiving.

"One year is too short a time to see positive results," Saeed Akhtar, a shopkeeper from Islamabad, told ABC News. "But with time, I am losing hope."

"I have no hope for any American president, Obama, Bush, etc.," said Khurshid Anwar, a student. "They are all the same."


One of the primary foreign policy goals of the young Obama administration was to "reset" relations with Russia, ties that had hit a post-Cold War low under President George W. Bush.

In April 2009, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton presented Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov with a yellow and red industrial "reset button" to demonstrate their commitment to the goal. However, "reset" was mistranslated into Russian and instead read "overcharge."

Nevertheless, it is undeniable that relations between Moscow and Washington have warmed since Obama took office, though experts say there is a long way to go before a full reset.

"There is certainly a difference in the tone and the atmosphere, certainly in the rhetoric," says Masha Lipman, a political analyst at the Carnegie Moscow Center. "Substantially, I'd be much more cautious. There are serious underlying problems, such as the distrust and the general sense that the U.S. wants to take advantage of Russia."

Russians themselves are heavily influenced by the state-run TV channels and recognize the gradual strengthening of ties between the two countries while being decidedly less interested in Obama than other nationalities.

"He understands that it is in his interest to have good relations with Russia and take into account Russian interests," said 55-year-old Tatiana Reznik.


A year ago, the French expressed real hope at the inauguration of Barack Obama.

An African-American president in the White House represented an extraordinary step-forward for a multi-racial country like France.

The enthusiasm surrounding Obama's election was compounded because it meant the end of the Bush years, which were particularly chaotic for Franco-American relations.

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