Joe Biden became the 46th president of the United States, vowing a “new day” for the United States after four years of tumult under Donald Trump who in an extraordinary final act snubbed the inauguration. He vowed to defeat political extremism and domestic terror in his first speech as US president.
After officially entering the White House after swearing-in as the President, Biden signed a raft of executive orders to launch his administration Wednesday, including a decision to rejoin the Paris climate accord.
World leaders reacted to Biden’s inauguration by offering congratulations, jockeying for positions at the forefront of his foreign policy agenda, and in some cases pleading for the reversal of his predecessor’s policies.
Here are some of the global responses to Wednesday’s transfer of power in Washington, DC:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Biden and said on Twitter that the US and India “stand united and resilient in addressing common challenges and advancing global peace and security”.
My warmest congratulations to @JoeBiden on his assumption of office as President of the United States of America. I look forward to working with him to strengthen India-US strategic partnership.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 20, 2021
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he looks forward to working with the incoming president.
“I look forward to working with him [Biden], and with his new administration, strengthening the partnership between our countries and working on our shared priorities, from tackling climate change, building back better from the pandemic and strengthening our transatlantic security,” Johnson said.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga tweeted his congratulations to the new president and his vice president Kamala Harris in both English and Japanese.
“Japan and the United States are allies tied firmly by bonds and shared universal values,” Suga wrote. “I look forward to working with you and your team to reinforce our alliance and to realize a free and Open Indo-Pacific.”
In a video statement, President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Biden taking the helm marked a “good day for democracy”.
“In the United States of America, it [democracy] has faced tremendous challenges – and endured. Despite the attempts to tear at America’s institutional fabric, election workers and governors, the judiciary and Congress have proven strong,” he said.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau congratulated Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris and said he was “looking forward to continuing this partnership”.
Congratulations, @JoeBiden, on your inauguration as the 46th President of the United States. Our two countries have tackled some of history’s greatest challenges together – and I’m looking forward to continuing this partnership with you, @KamalaHarris, and your administration.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) January 20, 2021
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the US was “back”.
“Europe stands ready. To reconnect with an old and trusted partner,” she wrote on Twitter.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said he was “looking forward” to working with the Biden presidency.
“We have a strong common agenda, ranging from the effective multilateralism that we both want to see to climate change, green and digital transition and social inclusion,” Conte said.
President Hassan Rouhani hailed the departure of “tyrant” Trump, who in 2018 reimposed punishing sanctions against Iran following Washington’s unilateral decision to withdraw from a landmark nuclear deal signed between Tehran and world powers in 2015.
A “tyrant’s era came to an end and today is the final day of his ominous reign,” Rouhani said.
“We expect [the Biden administration] to return to law and to commitments, and try in the next four years, if they can, to remove the stains of the past four years.”
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh called for action and “not just words” shortly after Biden was sworn in.
“The world knows that only the US can fix itself – in practice; not just words,” Khatibzadeh said in a Twitter post.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia will seek “good relations with the United States”, but whether or not the latter works towards the same goal will “depend on Mr Biden and his team”.
Peskov said President Vladimir Putin has “consistently” advocated for the preservation of a landmark nuclear weapons treaty and it was now up to Washington to preserve the pact.
NATO said it hoped to boost transatlantic ties under Biden.
“We look forward to working with President-elect Joe Biden to further strengthen ties between the United States and Europe, as we face global challenges none of us can tackle alone,” the military alliance’s chief Jens Stoltenberg wrote on Twitter.
French President Emmanuel Macron lauded new US President Joe Biden’s decision to return to the Paris Agreement climate accord, telling him “welcome back” in a congratulatory message after his inauguration.
“Best wishes on this most significant day for the American people!” Macron tweeted in English.
“We are together. We will be stronger to face the challenges of our time. Stronger to build our future. Stronger to protect our planet. Welcome back to the Paris Agreement!”
To @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris.
Best wishes on this most significant day for the American people!
We are together.
We will be stronger to face the challenges of our time. Stronger to build our future. Stronger to protect our planet. Welcome back to the Paris Agreement!
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) January 20, 2021
French government spokesman Gabriel Attal said Biden’s commitments to rejoin the World Health Organization (WHO) – which leads the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic – and the Paris climate treaty are “extremely important” following Trump’s exit from them.
“We are impatient to build with President Biden a strong, useful and renewed relationship,” Attal said after a cabinet meeting. “We have aims and colossal challenges to take together.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged Biden to “strengthen” a long-standing alliance between the two countries, partly in order to confront the “threat” posed by Iran.
“I look forward to working with you to further strengthen the US-Israel alliance, to continue expanding peace between Israel and the Arab world and to confront common challenges, chief among them the threat posed by Iran,” Netanyahu said in a video congratulating Biden.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said he shared Joe Biden’s policy priorities and wished him success ahead of his inauguration.
“I agree with his three main approaches … [tackling the] pandemic, economic reactivation and migration. And of course, wishing that President Biden does very well in his administration,” he told reporters.
Prime Minister Antonio Costa said on Twitter that his administration was ready to work with Biden from “day one”.
We are ready to work with President @JoeBiden from day one to strengthen EU-US relations, reaffirm the enduring relevance of #NATO and reinforce multilateral responses to issues such as climate change and the defence of democracy and human rights. #EU2021PT
— António Costa (@antoniocostapm) January 20, 2021