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Page last updated at 19:23 GMT, Wednesday, 29 April 2009 20:23 UK

World reaction to Obama's 100 days

As Barack Obama passes the 100-day mark, readers from around the world share their views on America's 44th president.

VIJAYENDRA MOHANTY, 26, WRITER, NEW DELHI, INDIA

Vijayendra Mohanty

To someone outside the USA, Obama appears to have changed all that the US had stood for during the Bush years.

My expectations have been met. I was never expecting him to weave solutions out of thin air.

Indian reaction to Obama has been positive. The underdog angle made many of us cheer for him during the campaign. After the election some Indians were disappointed as they expected him to be harsher on Pakistan.

America's standing as a world power was seriously compromised during the rule of George Bush. A superpower isn't built on military might alone.

America got the image makeover it needed when Obama entered the White House. Obama's government has humanised America. I used to see the US government as a video-game playing teenager. Now I think of it as a person.

Obama's attempt to reach out to the Muslim world, talking to them as equals, has been in stark contrast with Bush's approach. Whether or not this will work, it is definitely a step in the right direction.

What about Obama's general stance? Will Obama's radical approach work? Perhaps now is the time to be radical. He has to tackle the overwhelming challenges. Big changes are needed.

MICHEL NORMAN, 47, ACCOUNTANT, RA'ANANA, ISRAEL

Michel Norman

Obama seems like a decent person. We have heard his rhetoric, which by its nature is simplistic. We have seen that when it encounters reality, which by its nature is complicated, one or the other has to give.

In reality Iran, Russia, Syria and North Korea are not playing by his rules and now Obama needs to act, not just speak.

It is good that he is getting involved in the Middle East peace process, and better that he now has a better understanding that words alone are not enough to cut through complexity.

There is a concern that to achieve "peace" Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be pressured.

But the simple truth is that it is actually the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas who needs to be pressured into accepting a reality check. Two states for two peoples means one each.

Some in Israel are apprehensive about a change in leadership in the US. Let us wish him every success and see two states living with the same sense of security as the 51 states of America.

SHIRIN, 30, TEACHER, SHIRAZ, IRAN

As long as the supreme leader is in power there would be no friendship and no diplomacy between our nations

I think President Obama is doing a great job. I am very impressed by his efforts to tackle climate change.

However, I want to shed light on his ideas and plans over renewing ties with Iran. This is not going to happen since Obama's meeting with our president has no meaning.

In Iran, a president acts as he is told. It is the leader, the supreme leader, the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei that Obama has to seek negotiation with.

As long as the supreme leader is in power there will be no friendship and no diplomacy between our nations. It is just a great opportunity for those who are supporting and developing nuclear activities in this country.

I think Obama will find it is a tough path with Iran. However I wish him good luck since he has proven so much so far.

TATIANA SOKOLOVA, 24, PhD STUDENT, MOSCOW, RUSSIA

Tatiana Sokolova

President Obama has tried to change the image of America abroad.

But it is difficult for the new president to overcome Bush's legacy. Obama is stuck with a broken economy. The US army is still bogged down in Afghanistan and, for now, Iraq.

Maybe it is too early to speak about Obama's politics, but for now it seems that he is paying too much attention to his image rather than tackling the real problems.

And the new president may be trying to do too many things all at the same time - risking leaving projects unfinished.

And although America seems more ready to talk to other nations, I don't sense it is a dialogue of equals. Obama is the big brother - or pop star - on the world stage.

It is good that Obama has started talking to our leaders. America needs Russia to help solve many issues like Iran and Afghanistan. But is America really listening to what Russia wants?

People in Russia are happy to see a change in leadership, and anyone would be better than George W Bush. But people have more important things to worry about, such as our relationship with our immediate neighbours and Europe - and the global economic crisis.

OMER S KHAN, 45, UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR, LAHORE, PAKISTAN

Omer S Khan

I don't know much about US domestic politics, but I feel Obama has done well in terms of foreign policy, including statements he's made on the environment and his appearance at the G20.

Obama has moved to restore the world's confidence and trust in the United States. It is once more on the way to becoming a global power with a certain moral grounding, leading by example and able to see and understand others' points of view.

His impact on Pakistan is complex. Amongst the middle class professionals like myself, he has a lot of goodwill. His visit to Turkey in which he reached out to Islam was well received. People believe he is sincere in his attempts to change America's interaction with the world.

But there are many poorer people in this country, or those with less access to information, who still wish to blame America for all their ills - imagined or otherwise.

In the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan the Taleban have extended their control through fear. I think it is incumbent, not just on America but across the civilised world, to find a way to help the people there who are too frightened to stand up to the Taleban.

Actually, my greatest fear is the changing environment. I am pleased with Obama's promise to make climate change a priority. I hope he continues to address this problem.

PHILIPPE GESNOUIN, 44, IT PROFESSIONAL, PARIS, FRANCE

Philippe Gesnouin

From what I've seen on TV and read in the papers in a short time he has managed to tackle difficult issues and decisions. He has shown he has a will to negotiate and get rid of the "single power" aspect of the US, but he's also generally firm in his decisions. He has, for example, recently started talks with Iran, but Mrs Clinton has still said the US will retaliate if necessary.

Everyone knows the Middle East is a difficult issue. Brilliant people have been trying to come up with solutions and there are lots of differing lobbies, but President Obama has so far stayed shy of this issue. Health care in the United States is also very sensitive and ordinary people have more and more issues in getting treatment. So far I haven't heard anything about that either.

So far I don't think President Obama has had an impact in France or Europe. The only thing is people's opinion of the United States has improved and there's more hope that issues like climate change will be tackled. It is amazing watching US news channels now to see adverts for acting on climate change and the need for green power. In people's mind there is the belief that Obama might bring an improvement.

In the next 100 days I think he has to make a decision on the car industry in the US. There needs to be a change of direction in order to meet people's demand for greener vehicles. There could be long term effects on industries elsewhere in the world, so action must be taken. I think the green economy will be the new "new economy". We also need more clarity on the new US agenda in the Middle East, if there is one.

ESTHER WANJA MUGO, TOUR OPERATOR, NAIROBI, KENYA

Esther Wanja Mugo

I don't think Obama has made a big impression on Kenya yet. He has a lot to deal with at home.

But I did read in the paper that he has asked our President and Prime Minister to work out the differences between them.

There is a rumour spreading that Obama is coming to Kenya soon.

The impact would be fantastic. It would improve our relations with the US. And hopefully we will get more American visitors coming to Kenya.

That's what everybody's expecting.

LUIS FERNANDO GUISAO FRANCO, WEB ADMINISTRATOR, COLOMBIA

Luis Fernando Guisao Franco

I can define Obama with two words: charisma and humility. After all the conflicts and wars caused by the pride and ego of the world's leaders, we were missing someone with these qualities.

Leaders like Obama have a holistic vision of the global social, political, economic and ecological problems. He has been very good at reading all the signals from the context and is making all the right decisions. He is not only taking over the world's most powerful national, but he is also giving to people who need it.

We are happy that at least this president doesn't spend his time thinking in wars like his predecessor. Also, Latin America has suffered a lot with the policies and actions of the bigger countries like the United States. Listening to Obama gives us hope that things might get a bit better.

I am glad about his new approach to Cuba. He solves problems with simple but powerful solutions.

A hundred days is a short time to reach a conclusion about success and failures, but so far I think his government has been good. The US is going through an economic crisis, and any successful person will have their failures. But Obama will keep on fighting.

I do think is important to highlight that Obama is not a saviour, he is a normal human being. The only difference is that he has the will to help the world.



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