Bulgarian, CEE leaders react to Trump election

Bulgarian President Rossen Plevneliev and Prime Minister Boiko Borissov are among leaders in Central and Eastern Europe who have sent congratulations to Donald Trump on his election as the 45th president of the United States.

Plevneliev expressed his conviction that the only way to successfully counter today’s challenges and threats and to aspire to a safer and more unified world was through joint efforts, the President’s press office said.

“Bulgaria and the United States share common views and similar assessment of the most important world events, which is manifested in their close cooperation as strategic partners,” Plevneliev said.

The Bulgarian President expressed hope that his country would achieve a visa waiver by the US. Bulgaria has been campaigning for this for several years, though without success as opposition is based on the number of Bulgarians overstaying their visas in the US has exceeded the threshold for a waiver. Plevneliev’s call had a certain irony given Trump’s militant stances on immigration.

The Prime Minister’s press office said that Borissov said in his message to Trump that he appreciated the very high level of friendship and strategic partnership between the US and Bulgaria.

“I sincerely believe that under your administration, Bulgaria and the US will continue to build on the achievements,” Borissov told Trump.

Borissov noted the excellent co-operation between Bulgaria and the US on defence, combating terrorism and organised crime in the dramatically changed security environment globablly. He expressed gratitude for the assistance received for the modernisation of the Bulgarian armed forces.

“However, I am convinced that we can do much to expand the presence of American business in Bulgaria. I hope and progress in the dialogue to remove visa restrictions for the US, which will expand opportunities for direct contacts between citizens of both countries,” Borissov said.

The Polish government expects Polish-US relations to improve following the victory of Donald Trump in the US presidential elections, Poland’s Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz said on Wednesday, the Warsaw Voice reported.

Trump’s electoral victory is a good choice and constitutes good news for Poland, head of governing party Law and Justice (PiS) parliamentary caucus Ryszard Terlecki said. Polish-American relations will be better than to date after US elections, Terlecki said.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim congratulated Trump, saying that “a new page will open in the US-Turkey relations if (Fethullah) Gulen is handed over to Turkey”, the Independent Balkan News Agency said. Gulen is the Islamic cleric resident in the US that Ankara blames for this years’ coup attempt against Turkish president Erdogan.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry announced that the US-Turkish relations “do not depend on persons and that Turkey is determined to continue its relations with the US ”.

“The election marks the beginning of a new era in the United States,” declared President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at a meeting of businessmen in Istanbul, the Voice of America reported. “Personally and on behalf of the nation, I wish to consider this decision by the American people a positive sign and wish them a successful future.”

The warm words are in stark contrast to Erdogan describing Trump as an “Islamophobe,” in response to Trump’s call to ban Muslims visiting or immigrating to the United States. Members of Erdogan’s ruling AK Party had even called for Istanbul’s Trump Tower to be renamed. The Turkish president, a devout Muslim, likes to portray himself as a defender of Muslims throughout the world.

Most Serbian politicians welcomed Donald Trump’s victory in US presidential elections, the Independent Balkan News Agency said. Hillary Clinton is very unpopular in Serbia mostly because of the fact that US bombed it while her husband Bill Clinton was American president. On the other hand, Trump’s popularity is based on disputed reports that he had apologised to Serbia over 1999 US air campaign against it.

Serbian prime minister Aleksandar Vucic and Serbian Radical Party (SRS) leader Vojislav Seselj  congratulated Trump, while president Tomislav Nikolic said that Serbia had “great expectations” from the US president-elect.

In Greece, where US President Barack Obama is to visit on November 15, Greek government sources speaking to the Athens New Agency sounded calm over the prospect of Trump being US president.

Athens believes that US foreign policy will not change with respect to Greece. Sources emphasised that “Greek – American ties will remain strong and are not affected by this electoral result, IBNA said.

Macedonian president Gjorge Ivanov congratulated Trump, emphasising that strategic partnership and the engagement for the strengthening of bilateral relations will continue.

“You will lead your country at a time of security unrest, global changes and progress. These challenges are also reflected in the countries of Southeast Europe, mainly in Macedonia,” said Ivanov, adding that the country is expecting the support of the US in fulfilling vital and strategic interests, IBNA reported.

Kosovo president Hashim Thaci said: “On behalf of the people and institutions of Kosovo, I would like to congratulate the newly elected American president, Donald Trump on the victory of the presidential elections and wish him a successful mandate for delivery of the priorities of the American people”.

“Being aware of the leading role that the USA has in the international arena, I am convinced that the elected president will address the numerous challenges that exist on a global level,” Thaci said.

Albanian prime minister Edi Rama said: “A very dear friend of Albania, Kosovo and all of Albanians, Hillary Clinton, could not manage to become the first woman president in the history of the United States”.

Rama also says that Clinton’s rival, Donald Trump, was elected the 45th president of the USA, “convincing the people to vote his alternative after an extraordinary debate inside and outside of the United States”.

Rama said that the US will find in Albania a very precious ally.

Deutsche Welle reported that in Ukraine, the news of Trump’s victory prompted concern. Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko sent his congratulations to the president-elect on the afternoon of November 9 – hours after Russian president Putin had done so.

Poroshenko said he was hoping for US support in “the fight against Russian aggression” and with reforms.

There are now concerns in Kyiv that the US president-elect could make a deal with Moscow at its expense, DW said. During the summer, Ukrainian diplomats expressed worry over Trump’s views on Crimea. The fact that Republicans who, after this election, have majorities both in Congress as well as in the Senate, have previously supported Ukraine is cause for some hope in the country.

In Bucharest, Romanian news agency agerpres.ro reported that president Klaus Iohannis told journalists that he had congratulated Trump, “I told him that I am, we are willing to collaborate so as to strengthen the partnership we share, the strategic partnership between Romania and the USA. In this regards we shall continue.

“If changes occur, it is possible to be changes, meaning this partnership gets tighter, because you well know that we share a three-component partnership: politics, security and economy. And, for quite a long time I’ve been saying that if the first two components function extraordinarily well, more economic collaboration is needed, and perhaps here we have an opportunity,” Iohannis said.

The presidents of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania congratulated Republican candidate Donald Trump on his victory in the American presidential election on Wednesday and expressed their hopes for lasting strong relations with the US, the Baltic Times reported.

Slovenian president Borat Pahor said in a message to Trump released by the Slovenian head of state’s office: “The Republic of Slovenia has developed excellent bilateral relations and established successful partnership with the United States of America, firmly rooted in shared values and principles. We are connected through our efforts for international peace and security, with both countries responding to global challenges and promoting our common values, freedom and prosperity across the globe to the best of their abilities and through joint action,”.

Pahor said: “Allow me also to express my pleasure and pride to the future First Lady of the USA, your esteemed spouse Melania Trump is of Slovenian origin”.




The Sofia Globe staff

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