Subject: Xanana and Ramos-Horta respond to election of Barack Obama

also Statement of President Jose Ramos-Horta on the Election of the New President of the United States of America; FRETILIN extends congratulations and solidarity to Pres-elect Obama

Gabinete do Primeiro Ministro

Dili,5th November 2008
Dear Mr. President-elect,

Allow me, on behalf of the Government of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, to extend to you our heartfelt congratulations on your election as the 44th President of the United States of America.

Your decisive victory is evident of the faith and confidence the American people has placed in you to lead the nation over the next four years to great change and economic prosperity.

Internationally, the United States continues to play a vital role in helping to strengthen democracy and development in developing and post conflict countries. Since 1999, the United States has increasingly contributed to our nation-building and development and I look forward to working with you and your administration, in reinforcing this special relationship and in enhancing the ties of friendship between our two nations and peoples.

I wish you, Mr. President-elect, every success as you prepare to assume the Office of the Presidency of the United States of America.
Please accept, Mr. President-elect, the assurances of my highest consideration and respect,
Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao
Prime Minister
His Excellency
Senator Barak Obama
President-elect of the United States of America


Presidência da República
Media Release Dili, 4 November 2008
President of the Republic and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, José Ramos-Horta, congratulated today the president-elect of the United States, Barack Obama, and the American people for the historical election of an Afro-American from a humble background to hold office as President of the United States.
President Ramos-Horta said:
The election of Senator Barack Obama is a turning point in American history as it shows that American society has moved away from the racial discrimination and exclusion of the past.
For Afro-Americans and Africans in general, sons and daughters of slaves, the election of Barack Obama is the triumph of freedom and justice, the end of centuries of indignities and humiliation, the liberation of all humanity.
President-elect Barack Obama is a man of outstanding qualities both as a human being and a statesman and I believe he will be a president of the historical stature of a John F. Kennedy, successfully confronting the challenges facing the United States and the world in our time.
While it is obvious that the new American president has to address as a matter of urgency the financial catastrophe provoked by greed, incompetence and irresponsibility of American corporate CEO’s, it is also fundamental that the United States leads the fight against extreme poverty by increasing aid to developing countries, opening up its internal markets and ending agriculture subsidies, as I have stated on a number of occasions.
At the same time, on foreign policy I hope that the new American administration will immediately lift the trade embargo and sanctions on Cuba. The 40 year economic blockade and trade embargo by the world’s superpower against a small island-nation is immoral and politically unwise as it does not forge peaceful changes. The new President must take serious steps to accelerate the resolution of the Palestinian conflict leading to a permanent and viable Palestinian state within the framework of a two-state solution agreed upon by all parties concerned.
The new American president must realize that the era of American and European supremacy is over and should take steps to build a new and stable international framework by inviting China, India, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Brazil, Mexico to join the G8 and by leading the process of reform of the United Nations that would include the expansion of the Security Council with new permanent members such as India, Indonesia and Japan, for Asia, Egypt and South Africa, for Africa, and Brazil and Mexico, for the Americas. These are crucial tests for the new president of the United States.
To president elect Barack Obama, his wife Michelle, their children and the rest of his family and close friends I extend my warm congratulations. I also congratulate the American people for this historical event.
Also, my congratulations to Senator John McCain for his courageous fight as well his integrity and humanity. ­ ENDS.




Media Release

7 November 2008
FRETILIN extends congratulations and solidarity to Pres-elect Obama

"The promise made in American history from its Independence from Britain, the emancipation of the slaves by President Abraham Lincoln, and the gains of the civil rights movement and the Civil Rights Bill signed by President Johnson, finally became a reality with the election of America's first President of African descent," said FRETILIN Secretary General today in Dili in welcoming the election of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States of America.

"Mr. Obama comes to office at a difficult time in US history, in world history.  But he does so with a sense of sobriety, with a common sense approach that makes people around the world pay attention and raise their hopes that the 'new American leadership', as Mr. Obama so eloquently put it during his victory speech, will act for the good of humanity and our global community.  Mr. Obama has stood steadfastly to the message of a 'Change for America' and in his victory speech he added a 'change for the world'.  This is giving people hope," Dr. Alaktiri said.

Dr. Alkatiri said that he and FRETILIN members were impressed by Mr. Obama's campaign messages which recognized the need to undertake change in America, and change in the world.

"I have heard many US Presidents elect make their victory speeches. Until yesterday I had not heard one that was about recognizing the need to change how Americans deal with other Americans, change the way the affluent and comfortable can deal with those less privileged, how those in mainstream America deal with the marginalized in their society.  I had not heard a President signaling so clearly to Americans, and the world, that change is a process from down up and not up down.  The world is right in holding out hope for this new President and justified in answering his call for 'help'.  That in itself was a humble gesture I had not heard from a victorious President elect.  We are certain it is not just about a new style, but a promise of something better for the future for people.  It is a refreshing people based approach to leadership that we welcome,"  said Dr. Alkatiri.

"We congratulate and give our solidarity to President Barack Obama and his administration in all the well intended endeavors he has for his people and our global community," Dr. Alkatiri said in closing.



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