World Leaders Congratulate Biden


(CNN) – A stream of world leaders congratulated President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on their victory in the 2020 US presidential election on Saturday, 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. “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!”

The leaders of US allies South Korea and Australia also congratulated Biden and Harris. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in a statement that “the President-elect has been a great friend of Australia over many years,” and noted that Biden will step into the role at a crucial time as the world battles the Covid-19 pandemic. “American leadership is indispensable to meeting these challenges and upholding the rules, norms and standards of our international community,” Morrison said. Morrison thanked current US President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for their work with Australia over the past four years.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in tweeted he looked forward to working with Biden and Harris. “Our alliance is strong and the bond between our two countries is rock-solid,” Moon said. French President Emmanuel Macron also posted a lively tweet, writing: “The Americans have chosen their President. We have a lot to do to overcome today’s challenges. Let’s work together!”

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.”

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.”

Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán also congratulated Biden, according to Orbán’s spokesman Zoltan Kovacs. Orbán said in a letter to Biden: “I wish you good health and continuous successes in fulfilling your duties of extraordinary responsibility.”

In Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu posted his congratulations on Twitter several hours after other world leaders. Netanyahu said he and Biden have had a “long & warm” personal relationship for almost 40 years and sees him as “a great friend of Israel” and looks forward to working together. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas also offered his congratulations to the winners of the US Presidential election. In a statement released on the official Palestinian news agency Wafa, Abbas said he was “looking forward to working with President-elect Biden and his administration in order to enhance the Palestinian-American relations and achieve freedom, independence, justice and dignity for our people… and in order to achieve peace, stability and security for all in our region and the world.”

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.

Many foreign onlookers had concerns about President Trump’s comments on voter fraud and early claims of victory, and the impact those might have on democracy globally. A senior German politician described Trump’s approach to the ongoing vote-counting as “unbelievable” and “awful behavior.”

The significance of Harris’ victory as Vice-President elect was not lost on the world stage. The election call on Saturday made Harris the first woman to win the vice presidency, not to mention the first Black woman and the first South Asian woman to achieve this.

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi offered Harris, the daughter of an Indian mother and Jamaican father, his “heartiest congratulations” on Twitter. “Your success is pathbreaking, and a matter of immense pride not just for your chittis, but also for all Indian-Americans,” Modi wrote. “Chitti” is a Tamil word used to refer to the younger sisters of a person’s mother.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo and Indian opposition figure Rahul Gandhi were among those to congratulate Harris on her groundbreaking achievement.

By Zamira Rahim and Martin Goillandeau, CNN