‘Welcome back America!’ – World Leaders Congratulate Joe Biden on His Victory
‘Welcome back America!’
A stream of world leaders have congratulated President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris Saturday after CNN and other news outlets declared Biden the projected winner of the 2020 election, with many striking a jubilant tone on social media.
Canadian leader Justin Trudeau emphasized the close alliance between Canada and the US in his remarks.
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“Congratulations Joe Biden and Kamala Harris,” Trudeau wrote on Twitter.
“Our two countries are close friends, partners and allies. We share a relationship that’s unique on the world stage. I’m really looking forward to working together and building on that with you both.”
In Europe, the reactions were led by Irish politicians.
“I want to congratulate the new President Elect of the USA [Joe Biden],” Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martin tweeted after the result emerged.
Martin also referenced Biden’s Irish-American heritage, adding: “Joe Biden has been a true friend of this nation throughout his life and I look forward to working with him in the years ahead. I also look forward to welcoming him back home when the circumstances allow!”
Ireland’s health minister Simon Coveney said the country’s government looked “forward to working with a [Biden/Harris] presidency to sustain & strengthen Irish American relations, and so much more.”
In France Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo also reacted on Twitter, declaring “Welcome back America!”
“While we are about to celebrate the 5th anniversary of the Paris Agreement, this victory symbolizes our need to act together more than ever, in view of climate emergency,” she wrote.
The US left the landmark agreement earlier this week.
The sense of Biden’s election strengthening the US global role was also echoed in other European statements.
Norbert Röttgen, Chairman of the German Foreign Affairs Committee, said he was “very happy for all my American friends and for this great chance to revive our transatlantic friendship,” while Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Germany wanted “to invest in our cooperation for a new transatlantic beginning, a new deal.”
London mayor Sadiq Khan said Biden and Harris’ win meant it was “time to get back to building bridges, not walls” in a dig at President Trump’s policy of building a wall at the US-Mexico border.
Khan and Trump have clashed repeatedly over the years.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson also congratulated Biden and Harris and stressed the importance of the transatlantic relationship.
“Congratulations to Joe Biden on his election as President of the United States and to Kamala Harris on her historic achievement,” Johnson said on Twitter.
“The US is our most important ally and I look forward to working closely together on our shared priorities, from climate change to trade and security.”
Johnson and Trump’s administrations were thought to be close allies and UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab took care to acknowledge White House incumbent.
“It was a close contest and [Donald Trump] fought hard,” he wrote on Twitter.
Some politicians who had closer ties to Trump were more muted in their congratulations and took the time to reflect on the sitting president’s achievements.
In Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is yet to react but a host of politicians from the country congratulated Biden and Harris.
Netanyahu has worked closely with the White House on Middle East policy in recent years.
“Congratulations to my friend President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris. The relationship between our countries is based on deeply held values and critical shared interests which I know will be at the heart of your administration,” Israeli Opposition leader Yair Lapid said.
Amir Peretz, leader of the Labor Party, and a minister in Netanyahu’s coalition government also struck a diplomatic tone.
“I congratulate the election of President Joe Biden and wish him success,” Peretz wrote on Twitter Saturday.
“I thank [President] Trump for bringing achievements as a friend of Israel like the peace agreements. The United States has once again proved that democracy is the bedrock of the state’s existence.”
World leaders spent the past week watching closely as the election results gradually unfolded. Some, like UK Prime Minister Johnson, tread lightly in anticipation of an unclear outcome. Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau had said he was observing cautiously so as to not interfere with the process. Others cheered on the prospect of a Biden win. Paris Mayor Hidalgo had voiced her ongoing support for Biden and hope for renewed partnerships with the US on issues like climate change.
Many foreign onlookers had concerns about President Trump’s comments on voter fraud and early claims of victory, and the impact it might have on democracy globally. A senior? German? politician described Trump’s approach to the ongoing vote-counting as “unbelievable” and “awful behavior.” Russia’s Foreign Ministry had commented on Twitter that the tight race was a sign of the weakness of the US electoral system.