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US President Barack Obama answers a question during a press conference in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building at the White House in Washington, DC, on December 22, 2010. (Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images/Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama answers a question during a press conference in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building at the White House in Washington, DC, on December 22, 2010. (Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images/Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images)

New Year's Day

New Year's messages from world leaders Add to ...

While Prime Minister Stephen Harper offered an upbeat but low-key New Year's message to Canadians, other world leaders were confronting crises and offering hope to their people:

U.S. President Barack Obama:

The President said the U.S. economy was still emerging from a deep recession that continues to take a terrible toll on millions of families. But he said the recovery has begun. "And our most important task now is to keep that recovery going. As President, that's my commitment to you: to do everything I can to make sure our economy is growing, creating jobs and strengthening our middle class. That's my resolution for the coming year."

British Prime Minister David Cameron:

The Prime Minister said his coalition government will persevere with its deep austerity program, which will make for a painful 2011. "Each and every minister in this government is acutely aware that the plans we have in place are tough, in fact, incredibly difficult. But we are clear that the alternative - indecision and delay - would mean taking unacceptable risks with our economy, our country and our people."

Myanmar's democracy advocate Aung San Suu Kyi:

Ms. Suu Kyi called on her people to pursue a spirit of reconciliation, despite ongoing harassment from the military government that rules her country. "We must struggle by establishing people's political and social networks to get national reconciliation as well as a truly united spirit."

Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo:

Mr. Gbagbo lost a Nov. 28 election, according to international observers, and is now under international pressure to give up the presidency. "I observe, like you, the attitude of my adversary who voluntarily entrenched himself at the Golf Hotel. I observe, like you, the attitude of the United Nations and several powerful countries in the world. … We will not allow ourselves to be abused by wordplay. This is an attempted coup d'etat led under the banner of the international community."

Pope Benedict XVI:

The Pope, who has criticized the excesses of capitalism, spoke of his concern for those suffering economic woes. "The current moment still generates worry for the precariousness in which so many families live." He said the tough times require solidarity "with those who live in conditions of poverty or deprivation."

India Prime Minister Manmohan Singh:

Mr. Singh confronted head on the concerns about corruption and terrorism, saying it is necessary to dispel the cynicism and fatalism that has become commonplace in Indian public life. "We will redouble our efforts to deal effectively and credibly with the challenges of inflation, cleansing our governing processes, national security and making our delivery system work for the aam admi [or common person.]rdquo;

French President Nicolas Sarkozy:

The French President used his New Year's address to defend the beleaguered euro. "Don't believe, dear compatriots, those who suggest that we should leave the euro.…The end of the euro would be the end of Europe. I will fight with all my strength against this step backwards that would undo 60 years of European construction which brought peace and fraternity to the continent."

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