How World Leaders View Donald Trump

PHOTO: President-elect Donald Trump and his wife Melania walk with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Capitol Hill, Nov. 10, 2016, after a meeting. PlayAlex Brandon/AP Photo
WATCH World Leaders Congratulate President-Elect Donald Trump

Donald Trump appears to have made many of the world's leaders uneasy during his campaign, in some instances attacking them directly. Now they face the awkward reality of acceptance and working together.

Interested in Donald Trump?

Add Donald Trump as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Donald Trump news, video, and analysis from ABC News.
Add Interest

Here is how they're reacting to Trump's victory:


Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto posted four tweets (originally in Spanish): "I congratulate the USA on its electoral process and reiterate to @realDonaldTrump the willingness to work together in favor of the bilateral relationship." Peña and Trump met last summer in Mexico and have had serious disagreements on Trump's controversial plan to build a border wall and to somehow make Mexico pay for it.

Nevertheless, Peña was conciliatory. "Mexico and the USA are friends, partners and allies that must continue to collaborate for the competitiveness and development of North America. I trust that Mexico and the United States will continue to strengthen their ties of cooperation and mutual respect,” he wrote on twitter.


During the course of his campaign, Trump was harshly critical of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. "She is ruining Germany," he said of Merkel in a Twitter rant after she was named TIME Magazine's person of the year.

Last month, Trump slammed Merkel for allowing a wave of Syrian refugees into Germany, saying she should "be ashamed of herself." Trump said he had respected her but added, "She blew it, when she allowed this to happen, this migration."

Earlier he said she "should be ashamed of herself" for allowing a large wave of Syrian refugees enter the country. "She blew it, when she allowed this to happen, this migration," he said.

After the election, Merkel congratulated Trump on his election and vowed to work with whatever leader, citing a deep connection between the U.S. and Germany. She also made mention of specific shared values, including "respect of the law and human dignity, regardless of origin, skin color, religion, gender, sexual orientation or political beliefs," all of which were a source of contention for Trump during the campaign.

Prior to the election, Merkel's deputy had described Trump as a "right-wing populist" who poses a "threat to peace and social cohesion, but also to economic development"

When the two eventually meet, Trump can remind Merkel that in August 2015 Trump gave an interview with TIME in which he said, unprompted (according to the magazine), that Merkel was “probably the greatest leader in the world today.”


Trump appears to be on relatively good footing with Great Britain's new leadership, coming out of the 'Brexit' vote. Asked on camera if he was fit to hold office Theresa May said: “Yes, I look forward to working with President-elect Trump. The American people have elected him as the next President of the United States.


For all the fear and uncertainty that candidate Trump stoked about his future commitments to the alliance, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenburg seemed cool-headed. Asked if he was alarmed by the result of the election he said: "Not at all. The US has been rock solid committed to European Security for almost 70 years and I am absolutely confident this will also be the case after this election."

During his campaign Trump described NATO -- considered the first line of defense against Russian expansionism -- as "obsolete," while also suggesting he may not honor the organization's most sacred covenant of mutual defense.


President Francois Hollande offered perhaps the most frank reaction from America's oldest ally. In congratulating Trump, he said this election "opens a period of uncertainty." Hollande is up for reelection in six months and is up against a populist candidate who some have compared to Trump.

"France will start very soon discussions with the new United States administration," Hollande said in speech at Elysée Palace on national television following the US election. "I will do it with vigilance and with frankness because some of...Trump’s position during the campaign must be confronted to the values and the interest that we share with the United States.”


Trump and the Pope also have history. After visiting Mexico last year the pontiff suggested the Republican presidential frontrunner was "not a Christian," citing his plan to build a border wall. “A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian," Pope francis said. Trump stunned the religious community when he called the Pope's comments "disgraceful."

Not surprisingly, the Pope took the high road after election day, tweeting "May we make God’s merciful love ever more evident in our world through dialogue, mutual acceptance and fraternal cooperation."


The head of the EU has written to congratulate Trump and has invited him to visit Europe at “his earliest convenience.” Trump has endorsed the Britain's controversial and potentially destabilizing exit from the European Union.


The U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon congratulated Trump and said Americans should remember that "unity in diversity" is one of the country's great strengths. "The United Nations will count on the new Administration to strengthen the bonds of international cooperation as we strive together to uphold shared ideals, combat climate change, advance human rights, promote mutual understanding and implement the Sustainable Development Goals to achieve lives of peace, prosperity and dignity for all," the Secretary-General said. Trump has threatened to pull out of the U.S. out of the global climate pact, ban Syrian and Muslims refugees from entering the United States and has generally promoted an isolationist platform. Speaking to AIPAC earlier this year Trump described “the utter weakness and incompetence of the United Nations."


Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs Fumio Kishida sent a note to Mike Pence: “I would like to offer my sincere congratulations on your election as the Vice President-elect of the United States of America. Japan and the U.S, countries which had previously waged war against each other, have since become solid allies, bound in universal values such as freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law," the note read in part.

Trump has threatened to make Japan pay more for the U.S. forces in Japan, whose presence is generally considered great strategic importance to the United States.

“If they don’t take care of us properly, if they don’t respect us enough to take care of us properly, then you know what’s going to have to happen … It’s very simple. They’re going to have to defend themselves,” he said an interview with CNN earlier this year. It's worth noting the U.S. Marine base in Okinawa has become a a major source of frustration to the local Japanese people.

The Associated Press is reporting that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will meet with President-elect Trump on Nov. 17 in New York.


Trump has similarly threatened to pull U.S. forces out of Korea -- where they've been for over half a century -- if the host country is not willing to pay for them to stay.

But there was no mention of that in a phone call with the South Korean leader on Thursday. According to the office of South Korean President Park Geun-hye, Trump pledged his commitment to defending South Korea, where the U.S. currently stations over 28,000 troops.


Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi tweeted: “Congratulations to President-elect @realDonaldTrump. Look forward to continued US support for Iraq in the war against terror."


The controversial president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, who recently called to sever ties with the United States and called President Obama a "son of a bitch" in September seemed please by Trump's victory. "I would like to congratulate President Trump. Long live!" Duterte said to a crowd on Wednesday. "We both like to swear. One little thing, we curse right away, we're the same," Duterte said.


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who addressed Trump directly as "my friend," congratulated Donald Trump in a video message. Trump has described himself as a "lifelong Israel supporter" and has proposed moving the American embassy to Jerusalem. His adviser on Israel said that Jewish settlements are not an obstacle to peace with the Palestinians.


Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi was reported to be the first leader to speak with Trump over the phone Wednesday, congratulating him on his victory.


President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has congratulated Trump on his victory and expressed hope that the US political forces will keep supporting Ukraine. “The Head of State stressed that Ukraine appreciates the support of the political forces of the American state, which was demonstrated by the American people, support of Congress and the Senate, the president and the administration," - said in a statement published on the website of the Ukrainian president on Wednesday afternoon. Ukraine is fighting a war against Russia and pro-Russian forces in eastern Ukraine and fears Trump's soft stance on Russia could threaten their sovereignty.


Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday congratulated Donald Trump on becoming president-elect of the United States, and said he hoped they could work together to boost China-U.S. relations so as to better benefit peoples around the world. Trump has said China should be labeled a currency manipulator and has threatened to renegotiate trade deals such at the Trans-Pacific Partnership.


Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has been accused of meddling in the U.S. election process in ways that favor Trump, is ready to restore relations with America, Russia's state television reported on Wednesday.

“We heard [Trump's] campaign rhetoric while still a candidate for the US presidency, which was focused on restoring the relations between Russia and the United States,” President Putin said, speaking in Moscow. “We understand and are aware that it will be a difficult path in the light of the degradation in which, unfortunately, the relationship between Russia and the US are at the moment,” he added.