World leaders extend New Year greetings, hoping for peace, prosperity

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As people around the world are celebrating the New Year, world leaders delivered New Year messages to their citizens, reviewing the past year and hoping for peace and prosperity in 2023.

“I congratulate the great people of Egypt and the peoples of the whole world on the new year. I pray to God Almighty that it be a year of prosperity, love and peace and that we continue our work in building the future of Egypt with a spirit of challenge, persistence and determination, and that peace prevails among the peoples of the whole world. Happy New Year,” Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi tweeted on Saturday.

“It was a year of truly pivotal, even fateful events. They became the frontier where we lay the foundation for our common future, our true independence,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said in his New Year address on Saturday.

“Defending our Motherland is the sacred duty we owe to our ancestors and descendants,” Putin said. “The moral and historical truth is on our side.”

In his New Year message, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak described 2022 as “tough” and predicted the coming year will have its challenges.

“Before we enter the new year, I want to take a moment to reflect: 2022 was tough,” Sunak said. Looking into the future, he promised that he is “not going to pretend that all our problems will go away in the new year,” adding that “the government I lead is putting your priorities first.”

While giving his New Year address on Saturday, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said: “Tonight is the end of a difficult year.”

Germans are all feeling the effects of the Russia-Ukraine conflict in their everyday lives — when shopping in the supermarket, at the gas station, or paying electricity bills, Scholz said, noting that the country will implement measures including tax breaks, higher child benefits and capping the cost of energy.

“Our cohesion is our greatest asset,” he said.

Italians have good reasons to be hopeful, but need to face the future with a “forward-looking look and a vision,” Italian President Sergio Mattarella said in his New Year speech on Saturday.

“Unity of purpose, cohesion, and moral strength … thanks to all this, Italy has achieved encouraging results, and our resilience to the crisis generated by the pandemic has been proven by our significant growth in 2021 and 2022,” said the president.

While stressing the country had solid reasons to face the new year with confidence and to nurture hopes, Mattarella called on the nation to be aware of the challenges and opportunities of the current times.

In his New Year message posted on Twitter, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said that the year of 2022 was “a year of worries about rising supermarket prices and high energy bills.”

“What I hope for 2023, what I would like to ask everyone (to do), is that we keep looking out for each other in the Netherlands,” he said. “And especially to the people who are having a hard time, who are sick, or alone. May we also remain close to each other in the new year.”

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel on Saturday called on Cubans to work together in 2023. “I invite you to work with passion and willingness to overcome what appears impossible,” he said.

Noting that “we are making it to 2023 after together beating one of the most challenging years of Cuba’s revolutionary history,” Diaz-Canel urged Cubans to move forward, despite the U.S. embargo against the island.

On Saturday evening, Namibia’s President Hage Geingob said the country looks into the future with renewed hope and optimism in 2023 under the theme “Year of Revival.”

“It is time for our collective revival, to shape our future, one step at a time as we march towards shared prosperity. As a nation, we now have a good reason, to cease looking backward, but rather to look ahead and pull forward into the direction of inclusive progress and prosperity,” he said.

Noting the impact of the pandemic and a major conflict in 2022, Senegalese President Macky Sall pointed out that Senegal’s economy remains resilient.

Senegal has consistently advocated for peace and African integration, as well as the defense of the continent’s interests in global political, economic and financial governance, said Sall, who is also the African Union chief.

Delivering a message on the eve of the New Year, Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema called on citizens to prioritize community service and love for each other.

Expecting people to focus on hard work instead of bickering, the president said that the country is on track to unlock the economy and that all energies should be channeled towards economic transformation.

“We are looking at the New Year 2023 after having undergone the bleakest of times, immense hardships, as well as the uncertainties and hopelessness of the last year,” said Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe on Saturday.

Thanking the Sri Lankans for their “patience and courage,” the president said that “we must boldly implement the proposed social, economic and political reforms to build a prosperous and productive Sri Lanka in the coming decade.”

Giving his New Year address via audio and video recordings, Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Saturday referred to the year of 2022 as a “victory year” for Thailand that was able to go through crises on top of crises in the past.

The prime minister called on the Thai people to be good hosts for foreigners, perform their duties to the fullest potential, and continue to be a “moving force” for national and social development.

The Pakistani nation has emerged from difficulties in the year 2022 due to its citizens’ hard work, bravery, sacrifice, determination and consistency despite facing various challenges, Pakistani President Arif Alvi said on Sunday.

Calling for national unity, discipline and continuous hard work with passion and dedication to make Pakistan a prosperous, developed, democratic and stable country, the president also wished for world peace, harmony, progress and prosperity in the new year.

Also on Sunday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended New Year greetings and wished that the New Year will be filled with hope, happiness and lots of success.

“Have a great 2023! May it be filled with hope, happiness and lots of success. May everyone be blessed with wonderful health,” he tweeted. 

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