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Earlier this morning, TheBlaze reported on the Israeli response to President Barack Obama’s reelection. Now, reactions are coming in from the Middle East’s Muslim nations, including key hotspots that will require President Obama’s attention during his second term.
Here are some initial reactions coming in:
Hamas, the group that is in power in Gaza and which is considered a terrorist group by the U.S. and Israel expressed disappointment in Obama’s policy toward Israel and Palestine during his first term. Israelis might be surprised that Hamas thinks Obama has a pro-Israel bias. Still, the hardline Islamist group says it’s holding out hope for improvement during the next four years.
AFP quotes spokesman Taher al-Nunu who says Hamas is “waiting to see if there will be a positive change in Obama’s policy or not.”
“We hope that Obama commits to legitimate Palestinian rights and stops his policy of double standards and bias towards Israel,” he added.
The more secular Palestinian Authority which is in charge in the West Bank and his headed by President Mahmoud Abbas congratulated Obama on his win. The official Palestinian news agency WAFA reports:
Abbas expressed hope that Obama will continue his efforts to achieve peace in the Middle East.
Saeb Erekat, chief negotiator, also expressed hope that Obama will stand by the Palestinian decision to gain a non-member state status in the United Nations.
He called on Obama to act against Israeli settlement activities in the Palestinian Territory and other violations against the Palestinian people.
Erekat also expressed hope that Obama will stress in his second term democracy, peace, and stability in this region and to implement the two-state solution and Israel withdrawal to the 1967 borders.
The Palestinians say that later this month they will ask the United Nations for an upgrade to the status of nonmember state, a move that will pose the Obama administration with the dilemma of how far it’s willing to go – including the use of a veto – to oppose the Palestinian request. Before the U.S. election results were announced, PLO leaders told the Jerusalem Post they expected Congress and the administration to take “retaliatory” measures to scuttle the Palestinians’ UN move, including possibly freezing financial aid or closing the PLO mission in Washington.
Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood
The Egyptian news site Ahram reports:
President Mohamed Morsi on Wednesday hailed his US counterpart Barack Obama re-election and said he hoped it would strengthen the “friendship” between their two countries.
Morsi hoped for a “strengthening of the friendship between the two countries to serve their common interests, namely justice, freedom and peace,” in a telegram of congratulations released by the official news agency MENA.
While as of this writing there has been no reaction to the U.S. elections from President Bashar Assad or the official Syrian News Agency SANA, one part of the Syrian opposition had this response, per Al Jazeera:
A spokesman for the main Syrian opposition bloc, the Syrian National Council, expressed hope that the election victory would free Obama to do more to support those trying to oust Syrian President Bashar Assad.
“We hope this victory for President Obama will make him free more to make the right decision to help freedom and dignity in Syria and all over the world,” SNC spokesman George Sabra said on the sidelines of an opposition conference on the Qatari capital of Doha.
Just last week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton dismissed the SNC as a non-viable leader of any future post-Assad government.
Though Iran had no official reaction immediately after the election, Iran’s PressTV did take the opportunity to broadcast a discussion titled “Zionists Control US Elections Outcome.”
As the day progressed, though, top Iranian officials began weighing in.
The Agence France-Presse relates:
“Four years ago, Obama was elected on a platform for change and said he was extending his hand for cooperation with Iran, but he acted otherwise and unprecedented sanctions were imposed,” Fars news agency quoted judiciary chief Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani as saying, in Tehran’s first official reaction.
“Relations with the United States are not simple, especially after all the pressure and US crimes committed against the Iranian people,” Larijani, who was appointed by supreme leader Ali Khamenei, said of ties severed more than three decades ago.
“An overnight resumption of relations is not possible. The Americans should not think they can gain concessions from the Iranian people by coming to the negotiating table,” he added. [Emphasis added]
However, it it would be in their best interest, Lajarni did say that they are “prepared to negotiate with the devil in the pits of hell.”
CBSDC/AP adds of Egypt:
The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood feels that the only foreign policy change Obama can bring is by “accepting the will of the Arab people.”
“We must rely on ourselves and on our resources and build our country,” Issam Al-Aryan, a top Muslim Brotherhood official, said, according to The Times of Israel. “In the absence of direct American influence, Egypt can affect and lead the process of building a democratic and constitutional regime that will become a dream for African and the southern hemisphere.”
Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood wants to make Shariah Law the main source of the country’s new constitution. [Emphasis added]
More Hamas officials have spoken out, also.
According to CBSDC and the Associated Press, they are hoping Obama will implement more of what he discussed following his first election in Cairo, on the so-called “apology tour”:
“We heard moderate speech from Obama following his first term victory, but his policy was inconsistent with the speeches he gave in Egypt and Turkey,” Taher Nunu, a Hamas government spokesman, said, according to The Times of Israel. “He now has an opportunity to implement those promises to the nations of the region, far from pressures by the Israel lobby and politicized money.” [Emphasis added]
This post has been updated.