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Mid-term elections: Democrats win House in setback for Trump

November 07,2018 09:18

The Democrats have taken control of the US House of Representatives in the mid-term elections, dealing a blow to President Donald Trump. A Democratic majority in the lower chamber for the first time in eight years will restrict his ability to steer his ...

As the results of the midterm elections became clear, China pushed for continued co-operation with the U.S., while EU officials took swipes at President Donald Trump. (Caitlin Ochs/Reuters)

The world reacted to the U.S. midterm elections Wednesday, as Democrats took control of the House of Representatives while Republicans held onto the Senate.
The Kremlin said on Wednesday that it saw no prospects for an improvement in relations between Russia and the United States.
"We can say with a large amount of confidence that of course no bright prospects for normalizing Russian-American relations can be seen on the horizon," Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call.

Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin talk at the APEC summit in Vietnam in November 2017. (Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin)
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 told The Associated Press: "There is no issue which would have greater reverberations, not just on the right but in the centre and maybe even on parts of the left [than] resolving the Israeli-Palestinian issue."
He said 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, said he expects very little impact on Trump's Middle East policies.
China says the relationship between the world's two largest economies is so important that interests on both sides will continue pushing for co-operation regardless of the outcome of U.S. elections.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying declined to comment directly on the outcome but said "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."
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.
Hua says China looks forward to a meeting between Trump and President Xi Jinping later this month at a G-20 summit in Argentina.
The European Union's deputy chief executive hailed Democratic victories in the midterms in comments that took a clear swipe at what he called "rudeness" and "racism" under Trump.
"Inspired by voters in the U.S. who chose hope over fear, civility over rudeness, inclusion over racism, equality over discrimination," tweeted Frans Timmermans, a former Dutch foreign minister who is first vice-president of the European Commission, led by Jean-Claude Juncker.
"They stood up for their values. And so will we," he added.
Campaigning is getting under way in Europe for May elections to the European Parliament, in which Timmermans is leading the campaign for the centre-left.
A fellow Socialist commissioner, former French finance minister Pierre Moscovici who oversees economic affairs, also tweeted an ironic comment about Trump, who had earlier declared on Twitter that the election was a "tremendous success."
"The Democrats win the House of Representatives for the first time in eight years despite powerful Republican gerrymandering," Moscovici wrote. "Donald Trump is right: 'Tremendous success tonight.'"
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 the president.
Nishimura said Japan will co-operate with the U.S. in efforts to denuclearize North Korea and in other areas.
He said, 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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