Executives from around the world responded Wednesday to the inauguration of US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
Responses ranged from congratulatory offers that put their countries and economies at the forefront of Biden’s foreign policy agenda and, in some cases, a blow to the administration of former President Donald Trump.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson congratulated Biden and Harris “on their historic inauguration”.
“America’s leadership is vital on all of our vital issues, from climate change to COVID, and I look forward to working with President Biden,” wrote Johnson.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wrote, “I look forward to working with President Biden, Vice-President Kamala Harris, their administration and the United States Congress to make our countries safer, more successful and more resilient.”
In a statement, the Canadian leader said he would work with the United States to “advance climate action and purify economic growth, promote inclusion and diversity”.
In a series of tweets, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Biden and Harris.
Modi said he looks forward to interacting with Harris, the daughter of an Indian mother and Jamaican father.
After the US presidential election, Modi said her “success is groundbreaking” and of immense pride for all American Indians.
The Chinese Ambassador to the US, Cui Tiankai, also sounded optimistic in a congratulatory tweet to the new US president.
“China looks forward to working with the new administration to promote the solid and steady development of China-US relations and together address global public health, climate change and growth challenges,” wrote Cui.
Shortly after Biden was sworn in, China imposed sanctions on several Trump administration officials, including former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien and former Trade Advisor Peter Navarro.
Meanwhile, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen wished the new US administration “every success” and said the island was “ready to work with you as a global force forever.”
Taiwan is one of the issues at the center of the deteriorating US-China relationship. Beijing claims the democratic and self-governing island as an area that must one day be reunited with the mainland, so that Taiwan has no right to conduct international diplomacy itself.
French President Emmanuel Macron congratulated the new administration and welcomed the United States back to the Paris Agreement.
Biden signed more than a dozen executive orders from the Oval Office, including the resumption of the international treaty on climate change.
In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel described the inauguration of Biden and Harris as “a true celebration of American democracy” in a statement by government spokesman Steffen Seibert.
Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, also mentioned the US re-inclusion in the Paris Agreement. She said the move will be “a very strong starting point for our collaboration again”.
“This new dawn in America is the moment we have been waiting for so long. Europe is ready for a fresh start with our oldest and most trusted partner,” said von der Leyen in a video she posted on Twitter.
Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu said in a video he tweeted that he and Biden have “a warm personal friendship that goes back many decades”.
In addition to congratulating Biden and Harris, Netanyahu looked forward to strengthening US-Israel relations in order to “further build peace between Israel and the Arab world and face common challenges, most notably the threat posed by the Iran”.
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif slammed the Trump administration, which authorized an air strike that killed Iran’s Commander in Chief General Qasem Soleimani.
A statement by Iraqi President Barham Salih to congratulate Biden and Harris also highlighted the challenges posed by terrorism and extremism.
“It is in our common interest to face them. We also welcome the opportunity to work closely with the United States to ease regional tensions and promote peace and stability in the Middle East,” the president said.
Religious leaders also interfered.
In a statement from the Vatican Press Office, Pope Francis said: “I pray that your decisions will be guided by concern about building a society characterized by authentic justice and freedom, along with full respect for the rights and dignity of everyone . ” especially the poor, the vulnerable, and those who have no voice. “
The Dalai Lama, meanwhile, said in a tweet that he was pleased that Biden “is making the pressing problem of climate change a high priority”.
Yen Nee Lee reported from Singapore and Amanda Macias from Washington.