U.S. allies welcome Biden as subsequent president, regardless of Trump refusing to confess By Reuters
© Reuters. British Prime Minister Johnson holds the first press conference on the second coronavirus lockdown
By Thomas Escritt, Michael Holden, and David Ljunggren
BERLIN / LONDON / OTTAWA (Reuters) – Some of the U.S.’s largest and closest allies were quick to congratulate Joe Biden on his Saturday election victory, though Donald Trump, with whom several had rocky ties, had not yet conceded.
Germany, Canada and France, which despite their G7 and NATO partners, had close ties with the Trump administration, were among the first to recognize Biden’s victory shortly after major US television networks declared it.
“I look forward to working with President Biden in the future,” said Chancellor Angela Merkel in a statement on Twitter. “Our transatlantic friendship is irreplaceable if we are to master the great challenges of our time.”
Merkel’s Finance Minister Olaf Scholz went one step further and suggested that a Biden government could mean a reset of transatlantic relations.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he looked forward to the new administration addressing “the world’s greatest challenges,” including climate change, an issue many nations have argued with Trump over.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who had a much closer relationship with Trump, also took up the issue of climate change and congratulated Biden.
“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.”
Washington officially canceled the Paris Agreement on Wednesday to limit greenhouse gas emissions, fulfilling Trump’s pledge to withdraw the world’s second largest emitter from the pact. Biden has promised to rejoin the agreement if elected.
“The Americans have elected their president,” tweeted French President Emmanuel Macron. “We have a lot to do to meet today’s challenges. Let’s work together!”
Many leaders failed to mention Trump, but Spain’s left-wing deputy prime minister Pablo Iglesias said his resignation as president would leave the far-right party around the world weakened.
“Trump confirmed he lost the election. This is good news for the planet as the global far-right party is losing its most powerful political capital,” Iglesias tweeted.
IRISH AND INDIAN PRIDE
Ireland, where Biden has family roots, named him the 46th US President, despite Trump accusing Biden of “rushing to falsely pass himself off as a winner”. Trump has complained about election fraud with no evidence to show.
“Ireland is proud of Joe Biden’s election, just as we are proud of all generations of Irish women and men and their ancestors, whose efforts and ingenuity have enriched the diversity that drives America,” Prime Minister Michael Martin said in a statement.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighted Biden’s runner-up Kamala Harris in his congratulatory tweet. Harris, whose mother emigrated from India, becomes the first woman, first black American and first Asian American to win the second-highest US office of the vice president.
“Your success is groundbreaking and a matter of immense pride, not just for your Chittis but for all Native American Americans,” Modi wrote, using the Tamil word for “aunts” that Harris used when she was the Vice President of the Democratic Republic Party accepted nomination.
Egypt, one of Washington’s greatest allies in the Middle East, congratulated Biden, as did Lebanon, which had close ties with the United States.
On Friday, the Trump administration imposed sanctions on Gebran Bassil, leader of Lebanon’s largest Christian political bloc and son-in-law of President Michel Aoun, accusing him of corruption and links with the Shiite armed group Hezbollah.
Aoun said on Twitter that he hoped the balance would return to Lebanese-US relations under a Biden administration.
TRUMP ALLIES, RUSSIA MORE CAREFUL
Nations with closer ties to Trump were quiet or hesitant to proclaim Biden as elected president on Saturday night.
Polish President Andrzej Duda congratulated Biden on running a “successful presidential campaign” and said Poland will maintain a high-quality strategic partnership with Washington as “we await nomination by the electoral college”.
However, Russia made no immediate comment. US intelligence officials accuse the Kremlin of intervening in the 2016 campaign to help Trump vote – allegations he denies.
In the run-up to the vote, President Vladimir Putin appeared to be hedging his bets by disapproving of Biden’s anti-Russian rhetoric but welcoming his comments on nuclear arms control. Putin also defended Biden’s son Hunter against criticism from Trump.
The Israeli and Saudi governments, whose leaders are among Trump’s closest allies in the Middle East, also remained silent.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made no immediate comment, and a picture of him and Trump stayed on top of the Hawk Israeli leader’s Facebook page (NASDAQ :).
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said he looked forward to working with Biden on finding peace in neighboring Afghanistan.
The Trump administration has withdrawn US troops from Afghanistan under an agreement with Taliban insurgents, which Kabul and its allies have long viewed as Pakistani support.