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What the world thinks: Foreign leaders react to Trump

Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks about the results of the Michigan, Mississippi and other primary elections during a news conference held at his Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Florida, March 8, 2016. REUTERS

Donald Trump's race for the Republican presidential nomination has some foreign governments confused -- even worried, according to the Reuters news agency.

A Reuters report this week cited several unnamed U.S. government officials as saying they were being peppered with questions and concerns, mainly from "working level" foreign diplomats in Washington, about Trump's meteoric rise and the general vitriol in the 2016 presidential campaign.

"The responses have ranged from amusement to befuddlement to curiosity," one of the officials told Reuters. "In some cases, we've heard expressions of alarm, but those have been more in response to the anti-immigrant and anti-refugee sentiment as well as the general sense of xenophobia."

While most governments have been careful to voice their concerns only behind closed doors, others, including some of America's closest allies, have been less coy.

Click the "Next" button to see a sample of foreign reactions to the billionaire reality television star's political rise.


Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto addresses the press, at Los Pinos presidential residence, in Mexico City, Feb. 25, 2016, during U.S. Vice President Joe Biden's visit. Getty

Our neighbors to the south have been singled out by candidate Trump on multiple occasions. He accused Mexico of "sending people that have lots of problems... they're bringing drugs, they're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people."

One of the rhetorical cornerstones of Mr. Trump's campaign has been a promise to build a wall along the entire length of the U.S.-Mexican border, and to get Mexico to pay for it.

His remarks have failed to impress Mexico's leaders, and they haven't tried hard to hide it.

In an interview published by a Mexican newspaper, President Enrique Pena Nieto compared Trump's "strident expressions that seek to propose very simple solutions" to big problems to the rhetoric of the world's most notorious dictators.

"That's the way Mussolini arrived and the way Hitler arrived," Pena Nieto said.

Mexican Foreign Affairs Secretary Claudia Ruiz Massieu last week ripped Trump as "ignorant and racist," and called the border wall idea "absurd."

"It is impossible to think of a 2,000-mile border being walled off and trade between our two countries stopped," she said, adding that it would be "impractical, inefficient, wrong and, frankly, it is not an intelligent thing to do."

Asked about Trump's insistence that he would leverage the Mexican government into paying for the wall, both Pena Nieto and his top diplomat dismissed it as something Mexico would not even consider.


"Accepting 25,000 Syrian refugees does right by both the safety of Canadians and by the values that define us as a nation," says Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. 01:41

The young new Prime Minister in Canada has artfully dodged proclamations on the U.S. presidential contenders, but he has taken a couple of loosely-veiled swipes at the Republican front-runner, or his ideas, at least.

Trudeau to U.S.: Pay more attention to the world 00:51

In an interview for "60 Minutes" with Lara Logan, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, speaking on the topic of accepting Syrian refugees, said, "ultimately, being open and respectful towards each other is much more powerful as a way to diffuse hatred and anger than, you know, layering on, you know, big walls and oppressive policies."

After that interview, pressed for more specific reaction to Trump by the Huffington Post, Trudeau changed the topic ... sort of.

"Cape Breton is lovely this time of year," quipped the Prime Minister, in reference to a border town which has been inundated with requests for information by Americans interested in possibly immigrating to Canada.


After an online petition was signed by more than 500,000 people, Britain's Parliament will discuss whether to ban presidential hopeful Donald Trump from entering the U.K. The petition started circulating after the candidate's controversial proposal to temporarily ban Muslim immigration to the U.S. CBSN's Vladimir Duthiers has the campaign's response. 01:00

It's hard to imagine the "special relationship" between Britain and the U.S. going unchanged under a theoretical President Trump.

Politicians on both sides of the Parliamentary aisle have labeled the bombastic billionaire everything from "idiot" and "buffoon," to the more damning "demagogue."

Brits debate banning Trump 02:16

There was a concerted effort to urge Home Secretary Theresa May to ban Trump from even setting foot on British soil which, while unlikely to happen, clearly showed the concern festering in the United Kingdom.

Prime Minister David Cameron, leader of Britain's Conservative Party, didn't back the move to ban Trump, but he did say the Republican front-runner's policy statements -- particularly the now-infamous suggestion that he would block Muslims from entering the U.S. "temporarily" -- were "divisive, stupid and wrong."


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gestures during a press conference, Feb. 16, 2016, in Berlin, Germany. Getty

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has presided over the Israeli government during a period of incresingly strained relations with the U.S.

Both sides insist the relationship remains cordial -- and vital -- but there have been stark differences over the now-completely-stalled peace process with the Palestinians.

While his nation continues battling Islamic extremist groups, and struggles to stem near-daily, virtual suicide attacks by Palestinians on Israeli citizens, Netanyahu also distanced himself from Trump's rhetoric on Muslims.

Trump had planned a visit to Israel to meet Netanyahu in December, but postponed the trip until "after I become President of the U.S.," following an outcry among Israeli lawmakers over his suggestion that he would ban Muslims entering the U.S.

Trump annouced the postponement a day after 37 members of the Israeli legislature sent a letter to Netanyahu calling on him to denounce Trump's stance.

A tweet from the Prime Minister Netanyahu's official account said he "rejects Donald Trump's recent remarks about Muslims."

"The State of Israel respects all religions and strictly guarantees the rights of all its citizens," said a subsequent tweet.


Vice Chancellor and Economy and Energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel and German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrive for the weekly German federal Cabinet meeting on March 9, 2016 in Berlin, Germany. Getty

German's Minister of Economy, Sigmar Gabriel, has lumped Donald Trump together with some of Europe's most far-right politicians, branding them all a "threat" to the world.

"Whether Donald Trump, Marine Le Pen or Geert Wilders -- all these right-wing populists are not only a threat to peace and social cohesion, but also to economic development," Gabriel told German newspaper Welt am Sonntag.

Marine Le Pen leads the National Front, an anti-immigration party that has seen recent election gains in France. Even Le Pen has suggested, however, that Trump's idea to temporarily ban people from entering a country based on their religion was a step too far.

"Seriously, have you ever heard me say something like that?" she asked a French television interviewer.

Geert Wilders is a Dutch politician who frequently grabs headlines in the Netherlands and across Europe with his anti-Islam stance.

Gabriel's boss, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, is on the record as a fan of Hillary Clinton.


Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa (center) speaks during May Day celebrations, May 1, 2015, in Quito. Getty

Ecuador's long-time, left-leaning President Rafael Correa recently voiced somewhat surprising optimism that Donald Trump could win the U.S. election -- but Trump isn't likely to draw much attention to the endorsement.

Correa said last week that a Trump presidency would be "positive" for Latin America, but only after he said "it would be very bad for the United States."

The Ecuadorean president suggested Latin America's leftist politicians would be invigorated, and possibly make fresh gains, as a reaction to Trump taking control of the U.S. government.

"It is so clumsy his discourse, so base, that it would spark reaction in Latin America," Correa predicted in an interview with Ecuadorean radio.

Asked about the Democratic front-runner, by comparison, Correa said that "for the benefit of the United States, for world peace, obviously a person like Hillary Clinton is far superior. I admire Hillary Clinton very much."


From left, French Minister for Higher Education and Research Thierry Mandon, French Education Minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, French President Francois Hollande and French Prime Minister Manuel Valls observe a minute of silence at the Sorbonne University in Paris to pay tribute to victims of the Paris terror attacks, France, Nov. 16, 2015. Reuters

France has suffered tremendously at the hands of Islamic extremists in the past year, and while there is a rising tide of far-right, anti-Islam sentiment in the country, the current government is far more left-leaning.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls in December accused the Republican candidate of fanning hatred by implying that that all Muslims represent a threat to the West.

"Trump, like others, stokes hatred and conflations: our ONLY enemy is radical Islamism," tweeted Valls.


Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his annual end-of-year news conference, with a flag of Turkey seen in the foreground, in Moscow, Russia, December 17, 2015. REUTERS

In Russian strongman Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump may have found his biggest international advocate.

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin express mutual admiration 02:07

The Russian, who forcefully annexed the Crimean Peninsula away from neighbor Ukraine and who is regularly accused of prolonging the bloody war in Syria by coming to the rescue of his other ally, Bashar Assad, has called Trump an "undoubtedly brilliant, talented person."

"He is talking about moving to a different level of relations, a closer, deeper relationship with Russia," noted Putin in December. "How can we but welcome that? Of course we welcome that."

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