Thu, Nov 08, 2012 - Page 6 News List

US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: World joins Obama victory party

DISSENTING VOICE:Many are pleased by the US president’s success, but an Iranian news agency rolled out the headline, ‘Republican’s elephant crushed by Democrat’s donkey’

AP, JAKARTA

The western coastal town threw a party as they watched the election returns. Hula dancers known as the Obama Girls swayed in homage of the president’s home state of Hawaii, Obama city hall official Hirokazu Yomo said.

“Four more years,” Yomo said. “So we are happy this will continue and help with building our city.”

In Myanmar, which is pushing political reforms forward after five decades of military rule kept it isolated from much of the rest of the world, some said they were relieved Obama was re-elected because he had chosen to engage rather than sanction their country.

“It is good that President Obama is re-elected. President Obama is very flexible and international relations have improved during his term,” said Thit Oo, a 42-year-old car mechanic.

Washington has started focusing more on Asia since Obama took office. Some Asian countries, including the Philippines and Vietnam, have been looking more toward the US as tensions flare with China over disputed territories in the South China Sea.

“In Asia, he needs to fine-tune the building of alliances without overtly appearing anti-China,” Ramon Casiple, a political analyst in the Philippines, said of Obama. “At the same time, he needs to encourage countries with border disputes with China that he’s on their side.”

A spokesman for the main Syrian opposition bloc, the Syrian National Council (SNC), expressed hope that the election victory would free Obama to do more to support those trying to oust Syrian President Bashar al-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 in the Qatari capital of Doha.

Sabra renewed the opposition’s appeal to the international community to supply rebel fighters with weapons.

The Obama administration and its Western allies have ruled out military intervention in Syria. The US has also been cool to opposition rebels’ demands for weapons such as anti-aircraft missiles, out of concern that they could fall into the wrong hands. The US and other foreign backers of the Syrian uprising have urged the fractured, largely exile-based opposition to unite and include more representatives from inside Syria.

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