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Last Updated: Sunday, 1 January 2006, 12:59 GMT
World leaders greet New Year
New year marches in across the globe

World leaders have been looking back on the past year and setting out their hopes for the world in 2006. Here are some of their messages.

China: President Hu Jintao

The Chinese people would like to join hands with people around the world to promote multilateralism and facilitate economic globalization in the direction of realizing common prosperity. The Chinese people advocate democratization in international relations, respect diversification and would help promote the establishment of a new international political and economic order that is just and rational. China will continue to stick to the basic state policy of opening to the outside world, continually optimize our investment environment, further open up our market and engage in extensive international cooperation.

Russia: President Vladimir Putin

One can say confidently that the year that is passing into history, 2005, was on the whole a positive one for us practically in every respect and has proven convincingly that we are capable of a lot. Of course, we still have enough problems and we know that we can only solve them ourselves. We have big, very serious plans in the economy and the social sphere. We will strengthen Russia's defence capability and, in the broadest sense of the word, defend our citizens' interests.

India: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

The resolute will of the people helped the nation tide over several formidable obstacles posed by nature during the past, and the nation took several confident steps to meet other economic and social challenges... The New Year is an opportunity to make a fresh beginning and to renew our resolve to strive for individual as well as collective growth.

Brazil: President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva

Brazil is now a country with international credibility. Brazil's accounts are settled... We are becoming our own bosses more, we are taking our own decisions without interference from the [international monetary] fund or any other multilateral organization. And I think that 2006 will be exactly that, a year when industry will grow more, jobs will grow more, income will grow more - I think everything will improve in 2006.

France: President Jacques Chirac

Underpinning the [French] Republic, there is respect for the law and for rules. We are going to step up still further the fight against violence and crime, work harder still to combat illegal immigration, and reform our justice system.. With all our partners we reached a good agreement on the European budget. But Europe needs more democratic, more stable and more effective institutions. We cannot wait. That is why I shall soon be taking initiatives to relaunch the construction of a political Europe, a social Europe, and a Europe of projects.

Germany: Chancellor Angela Merkel

Taking many small steps but into the right direction - this is how we start, with focusing on the target to bring our country back to the top of the European economy within 10 years... Of course we are crossing our fingers for the national team [in the 2006 World Cup in Germany] and I think the chances are not bad.

The Vatican: Pope Benedict XVI

It becomes ever more important to work together for peace when confronting the situations of injustice and violence that continue to oppress various parts of the world, those that are the new and most insidious threats to peace: terrorism, nihilism and fanatic fundamentalism... [The UN] must again be aware of its responsibilities to promote the values of justice, solidarity and peace, in a world more and more marked by the huge phenomenon of globalization.

Ukraine: President Viktor Yushchenko

We are a contemporary European people with a rich history. Life has set a lot of difficult tasks for us. A year ago, we together defeated dictatorship, and chose true freedom. Now we must make the next step: to choose together Ukraine's economic independence.

South Korea: President Roh Moo-hyun

Fellow Citizens, Are you still worried about the economy as we begin the New Year? Please do not be consumed with worries. For the economy is turning around. The country has now completely gotten over the crisis that brought on the IMF bailout plan... Nonetheless, life of ordinary people is still difficult financially. In the New Year, the Government will make extensive efforts to further improve their economic situation. We have had a fair share of confusion and instability arising from various conflicts. It will rather change in the New Year, however.

Philippines: President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo

Let us break from the past and face a brave new future... Let us face the new year with a renewed hope and a stronger determination to push for reforms for the sake of the country.

South Africa: President Thabo Mbeki

We also know that as the year 2005 ended, many of our fellow citizens could not join the festivities because of the poverty which still affects so many of our people... As we welcome the New Year, all of us must renew our pledge to do everything in our power to create jobs and fight poverty, to give renewed hope to millions in our country that 2006 will be a happy and prosperous year for them as well.

Kenya: President Mwai Kibaki

Fellow Kenyans, last year we demonstrated the maturity of our democracy by successfully concluding the referendum on the proposed constitution. The process showed that Kenyans are patriotic and peaceful people committed to the well-being and unity of the country. I urge Kenyans to uphold this virtue as we forge ahead into the new year.

Uganda: President Yoweri Museveni

I would like to appeal to all Ugandans to use this chance [presidential elections in February 2006] of electing leaders to elect good leaders. Elect leaders who will solve your problems. Do not be duped by leaders who give small inducements... I again salute the people of Uganda, I congratulate you on finishing the old year, 2005, and I wish you a happy and prosperous 2006.

Tanzania: President Jakaya Kikwete

Normally, foreign media organizations and others from the developed countries do not see anything good on the African continent. Those of us, who are well-traveled, know better. In their countries, the only news you get or hear about Africa is negative news... However, due to the good work done by our electoral bodies, the exemplary conduct of our defence and security organs, and your calmness and patience, we denied them the bad things they wanted to write about.

Slovenia: Prime Minister Janez Jansa

We have drawn up a development strategy that will prepare us for the rapid changes around us. We wish to secure prosperity for all, but to do so, we have to invest more into knowledge and encourage successful entrepreneurship. Our cultural and social development, as well as the environment, should be treated with equal care.

Turkey: President Ahmet Necdet Sezer

Despite the increasing international cooperation, terrorism is still the biggest obstacle on the way to permanent peace in the world. We should take concrete steps to remove inequalities between countries. Otherwise, we fail to create better living standards for our peoples... Everyone should know that any efforts to disturb the peaceful unity of the Turkish nation will not yield any results.

Croatia: President Stjepan Mesic

[The start of EU membership talks] is most definitely a success, but not the end of the path. In fact, we are at the beginning of a path at which a lot is to be done. We must complete a part of that job next year. We must negotiate in a way to express our readiness to join the EU and show that we also know how to defend our vital national interests.

Macedonia: President Branko Crvenkovski

In 2005, Macedonia managed to strengthen stability in all aspects, to advance its unique and well-regarded model of interethnic life together, which was adequately confirmed by the granting of the status of country-candidate for EU membership

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaus abroad.


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