Obama calls on voters to "keep America moving forward" in New Year's speech

The President-elect also tweeted a message to his "many enemies" on New Year's Eve

Barack Obama, Congressional Black Caucus,

Image: Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP/Press Association Images

As Barack Obama prepares to leave the White House, he has issued his last New Year's address as the President of the United States. 

Mr Obama called on the nation to work together as they moved into the new year - and a new presidency - to build on the work done by his administration. 

Looking back on his eight years in charge, Obama highlighted the perilous state of the economy when he began the first of his two terms in 2008, and spoke of the auto-industry's growth and the jobs created as a result of policies enacted under his administration. 

"None of it was inevitable," said Obama, "it was the result of tough choices we made and the result of your hard work and resilience."

Turning his attention to the next four years, the President encouraged people not to become frustrated by the political system, and to recognise that progress does not always move as quickly as they would like. 

"To keep America moving forward is a task that falls to all of us," he added. "Sustaining and building on all we've achieved, from helping more young people afford a higher education, to ending discrimination based on pre-existing conditions, to tightening rules on Wall Street, to protecting this planet for our kids; that's going to take all of us working together, because that's always been our story. The story of ordinary people in the hard, slow - sometimes frustrating, but always vital - work of self-government.

"It has been the privilege of my life to serve as your President, and as I prepare to take on the even more important role of citizen, know that I will be there with you every step of the way to ensure that this country forever strives to live up to the incredible promise of our founding: That all of us are created equal, and all of us deserve every chance to live out our dreams."

Obama's largely positive message sits in contrast to the New Year's greeting given by the President-elect Donald Trump, who spoke of his "many enemies," noting that they had "lost so badly" in their battle against him.  

Earlier on New Year's Eve, Mr Trump also praised Russian leader Vladimir Putin for holding off on plans to expel US diplomats from Russia in a tit-for-tat retaliation against Washington, tweeting: "I always knew he was very smart!"