UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown called Tuesday’s poll historic and said he and Mr Obama “share many values”.
Chinese President Hu Jintao said he looked forward to strengthening dialogue.
France’s Nicolas Sarkozy said the poll had raised “enormous hope”.
In Kenya – the birthplace of Mr Obama’s father – President Mwai Kibaki declared a national holiday on Thursday.
Pope Benedict XVI asked for “God’s blessings on the American people”.
The BBC’s Justin Webb in Washington says Americans have made two fundamental statements about themselves – that they are profoundly unhappy with the status quo, and that they are slamming the door on the country’s racial past.
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