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British Prime Minister, Opposition Leaders Congratulates Obama

Jan 26, 2009, 4:47 AM | Article By: Alhagie Mbye, The Point's UK Correspondent

Shortly after the inauguration of  Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States, the British Prime Gordon Brown has delivered a heartfelt congratulatory message to the new president wishing him well in his tenure and hope  that the 'special relationship between the countries continues. A similar message was also expressed by both the leader of the Conservative David Cameron and Liberal Democrat's Nick Clegg. Both men conveyed their gratitude to the new US President.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Prime Minister Brown said: 'On behalf of the country, may I convey my heartfelt gratitude to the new President elect Barack Obama and I hope the special relations between the two countries continues. He also promised to strengthen the good relationship between Britain and the United States and further applauded Obama for his 'fiscal stimulus policy'.

David Cameron also used the opportunity to inform the House of Commons of his gratitude to Obama and said the new United States President's 'goodwill' is felt by all people around the world.

For his part, Nick Clegg, leader of the Liberal Democrats, told the Commons that he was happy to inform the Prime Minister to convey his heartfelt felicitation to Obama.

The British Prime Minister also considers the arrival of President Obama as not only a 'new chapter for American history but that of the entire world and once again praised him for his 'resolute and steadfastness'.

Referring to Obama, Diane Abbott, Member of Parliament in Hackney North and Stoke Newington also told the Commons: 'when someone whose father would not have been served in Washington restaurants 60 years ago becomes president that shows anything is possible. Diane a black MP and a well known supporter of Obama added 'Yes we can'.

Prime Minister Brown who was teased by some sections of the press for quietly supporting Obama' during the campaigning period also told his Cabinet that Britain would have a close relationship with the Obama administration 'because of  shared values' on not only the economy, but on other domestic issues as well as the environment and other important matters'.

The Prime Minister also considers Obama as a man of 'great vision and moral purpose' and trusts that the new President will be able to tackle the global financial crisis and other problems facing the world.

While the Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts delivered the oath to Obama on Wednesday night at the White House, on its part, the British Press also devoted their front pages to welcome the new President and hope that he live up to the millions of people's expectations.

According to the credited Independent newspaper, 'after the mistake heard around the world, President Barack Obama has taken the oath of office'. The paper also reported on the various vital issues that it said should be tackled by the new administration.

The Guardian, whose pages are seen full of Obama stories over the past weeks, patiently quotes Obama's speech and outlined many challenges ahead of him; whiles The Observer said: 'History was in the making as Obama was sworn in as new president'. The Observer wrote that the inauguration ceremony is expected 'to draw global audience to rival the rating of TV's biggest live events and popular shows'.

Focusing on the economy aspect as usual, the Financial Times noted that President Obama 'signaled a decisive break with the Bush years and vowing a new era of responsibility in which he would rebuild the economy and restore America's standing in the world'.

On its part, The Times was also interested in the security protection of Obama and quoted, a Homeland Security spokesman regarding to 'limited specificity, uncertain credibility and suspicious activity'.

Also in the workplaces and streets around the UK many hailed Obama's strength and wisdom. Taking into consideration the close family ties of Obama in the United Kingdom, many already knew detailed information about his family connection in the country following various press reports about them.

A female Member of Parliament said: 'During the inauguration ceremony all of us were watching it on BBC television. Labour, Conservatives and Liberals were all together watching this joyous occasion; we wish him all the best'.

However certain respectable and sometimes 'controversial' commentators are demanding more from Obama. Robert Fisk, a columnist with The Independent who worked as a journalist reporting issues in the Middle East for over 30 years and who appeared in several political debates wrote: 'So far Obama missed the point on Gaza. It would help if Obama had the courage to talk about what everyone in the Middle East was talking about'.

Despite all that had been said, the expectations are high in the midst of a daunting task that lolls ahead, but millions of people still hope to see the best of Obama in the coming years.