European moderates welcome US political shift

'I Voted Today' sticker, Photo Date: 10/27/2018 / Cropped Photo: Steve Rainwater / CC BY-SA 2.0 / (MGN)
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NEW DELHI (AP) — The Latest on global reactions to U.S. midterm elections (all times local):

9:10 p.m.

European moderates are welcoming a re-balancing of U.S. politics after the midterm election but few expect big change in relations with President Donald Trump.

EU Commissioner Pierre Moscovici tweeted that the Democrats took the majority in the House of Representative "despite powerful Republican gerrymandering," calling it a "tremendous success."

French President Emmanuel Macron's government spokesman, Benjamin Griveaux, said the vote "shows the vitality of a great democracy."

After two years in which Trump has bullied European allies and raised fears that Europe will be caught between the U.S. and Russia in a new nuclear arms race, French lawmaker Guy Teissier said the midterm result "will not change things dramatically" for Europe.

Business lobby groups in Europe said they expect protectionist U.S. policies to continue. European People's Party leader Manfred Weber said it's time for Europeans to stop following Washington's example and realize "we are the biggest and largest economic power."

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8:20 p.m.

The Kremlin says the outcome of the U.S. midterm elections was "predictable."

Russian President Vladimir Putin's foreign affairs adviser, Yuri Ushakov, said Wednesday that the vote putting Democrats back in charge of the U.S. House of Representatives continued the traditional pattern of the president's party suffering losses in the first midterm election of his term.

Ushakov noted that both the Democrats and U.S. President Donald Trump are claiming the results as their victory. Trump's Republicans gained Senate seats and held onto key governorships.

He added that it wasn't immediately clear what impact the election would have on U.S.-Russian relations.

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8:10 p.m.

Italy's right-wing deputy premier has tweeted his congratulations to President Donald Trump for the results of the U.S. midterm elections, saying they went "against everything and everyone" pushing for a Democratic wave.

Matteo Salvini, a populist who also serves as Italy's interior minister, shares some of Trump's anti-migrant, nationalist leanings.

Salvini wrote "godonaldgo" and "Compliments to president #Trump for the seats conquered in the Senate and the confirmation in crucial states, against everything and everyone: leftist journalists, actors and singers, directors and pseudo-intellectuals."

At a news conference later Wednesday, Salvini declined to comment on specific policies of the leader he called a "slightly strange president," but said Trump at least kept his campaign promises on the economy, trade and immigration.

Trump's onetime adviser, Steve Bannon, has pointed to Salvini as the future of European politicians.

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6:45 p.m.

Germany's foreign minister says the outcome of the U.S. midterm elections means foreign policy will depend more on whether Republicans and Democrats can work together, but doesn't alter the changes in trans-Atlantic relations under President Donald Trump.

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Wednesday: "What this election doesn't change is that without the U.S., we will not be able to solve problems in an ever more complicated world."

Maas added: "We must remain realistic. In the past two years, the balance in the partnership with the United States has shifted for the foreseeable future, and the election won't change anything about that either."

Maas renewed his argument that Europeans must answer Trump's "America First" policy with a "Europe United" approach

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6:30 p.m.

Relatives of the first Palestinian-American woman elected to the U.S. Congress are cheering in the Michigan Democrat's ancestral West Bank village of Beit Ur al-Foqa.

Rashida Tlaib's uncle, Bassam Tlaib, said Wednesday that "the family, the village and the region are all proud" of her historic victory.

He says his 42-year-old niece plans to wear traditional Palestinian dress and have a Quran during her swearing-in ceremony. He expects her to "serve the Palestinian cause" in her new role.

Rashida Tlaib was born in the United States to Palestinian parents. Her mother is originally from the West Bank.

Tlaib ran unopposed in her Michigan district. She and Somali-American Ilhan Omar of Minnesota will be first two female Muslim members of Congress.

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3:35 p.m.

The Kremlin says the results of Tuesday's midterm elections are not going to hurt ties between Russia and the U.S. because they are bad as it is.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Wednesday that "it'd be hard to make (the relationship) even worse."

Peskov refused to comment on a suggestion that the Democrats' control of the House will make it more difficult for President Donald Trump to repair ties with Russia. He says, however, "there are no bright prospects on the horizon" for improving the relations.

A meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin planned for next week in France has been scrapped.

A senior Russian lawmaker, Konstantin Kosachev, says a Democratic majority in the House means Trump will face "unpleasant challenges."

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3:25 p.m.

Michael Oren, Israel's deputy Cabinet minister for public diplomacy and a former ambassador to Washington, says the results made it more likely that President Donald Trump would turn to international diplomacy to reach a deal for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Oren has told The Associated Press: "There is no issue which would have greater reverberations, not just on the right but in the center and maybe even on parts of the left that resolving the Israeli-Palestinian issue."

He says the results have a two-pronged influence on Israel. The first is to view the Democratic retaking of the House as an opportunity for Israel to reach out again to Democrats and liberal Jews who overwhelmingly supported them after years of the Jewish state perceived as enthusiastically praising Trump. The second is to try and push for as many concrete solutions to its chief concerns — Iran, Syria and the Palestinians — while Trump remains in the White House.

Mouin Rabbani, an independent Palestinian analyst, says he expects very little impact on Trump's Middle East policies.

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3:10 p.m.

Japanese officials say their alliance with the United States remains unshakable regardless of U.S. election results.

Japan's Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasutoshi Nishimura told reporters Wednesday that Japan-U.S. alliance is "unwavering" despite mixed election results for President Donald Trump.

Democrats seized the House majority from the Trump's Republican Party, while it gained ground in the Senate in Tuesday's midterm elections, the first nationwide polls since Trump took office two years ago.

Nishimura says Japan will cooperate with the U.S. in efforts to denuclearize North Korea and in other areas.

He says, however, Japan won't compromise on trade against its national interest if there is any change in a political climate in the U.S.

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2:55 p.m.

China says the relationship between the world's two largest economies is so important that interests on both sides will continue pushing for cooperation regardless of the outcome of U.S. elections.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying declined to comment directly on the outcome but says "regardless of the result ... we believe the two governments and the two peoples all want to maintain the sound and steady development of bilateral relations because we believe it is in the best interests of the international community."

President Donald Trump has slapped punitive tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese exports to the U.S. and threatened billions more. China has retaliated with tariffs on soybeans and other key U.S. exports. Frictions over Taiwan, human rights and the South China Sea have pushed relations to their lowest ebb in years.

Trump and Vice President Michael Pence have also accused China of seeking to meddle in the elections, prompting denials from Beijing.

Hua says China looks forward to a meeting between Trump and President Xi Jinping later this month at a G-20 summit in Argentina.

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2::35 p.m.

The Democratic victory in the U.S. House of Representatives could echo from Moscow to Beijing to Riyadh, with empowered Democrats now able to launch new investigations into President Donald Trump's international business empire and his political dealings with the rest of the world.

Overturning control of the House in Tuesday's midterm elections has given the Democrats a powerful weapon to wield against Trump: subpoenas whose reach could extend far beyond the White House and Washington.

It means Democrats could look into everything from Chinese trademarks granted to companies linked to Trump and his daughter Ivanka, to a probable reopening of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.



 
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