President-elect Donald Trump speaks at his election night rally in Manhattan, New York. (Reuters)
BERLIN – World leaders pledged to work with Donald Trump after his shock victory in the U.S. presidential election but some officials expressed alarm that the vote could mark the end of an era in which Washington promoted democratic values and was seen by its allies as a guarantor of peace.
Trump, the real estate magnate and former reality TV star, sent conciliatory signals in his first remarks since his stunning upset of Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, pledging to seek common ground with America’s partners, not conflict.
Governments in Britain, China, Germany, Israel, Japan, Russia and Turkey all congratulated Trump and said they would work with him.
“It is not an easy path but we are ready to ready to do our part and do everything to return Russian and American relations to a stable path of development,” said Russian President Vladimir Putin, for whom Trump expressed admiration during the election campaign.
Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu said he hoped to reach “new heights” in bilateral ties under Trump. And British Prime Minister Theresa May said the “enduring and special relationship” between Britain and the United States would remain intact.
But other officials, some of them with senior roles in government, took the unusual step of denouncing the outcome, calling it a worrying signal for liberal democracy and tolerance in the world.
“Trump is the pioneer of a new authoritarian and chauvinist international movement. He is also a warning for us,” German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said in an interview with the Funke newspaper group.
During his election campaign, Trump expressed admiration for Russia’s Putin, questioned central tenets of the NATO military alliance and suggested that Japan and South Korea should develop nuclear weapons to shoulder their own defence burden.
He has vowed to undo a global deal on climate change struck by world powers in Paris last year, ditch trade deals he says have been bad for U.S. workers, and renegotiate the nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers which has led to an easing of sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
But U.S. allies admit to being unsure whether Trump will follow through on all of the foreign policy pledges he made during the campaign. (Reuters)