Although U.S. President Donald Trump wasn’t conceding defeat, world leaders swiftly congratulated Joe Biden for his election victory Saturday and expressed hope that the new White House will prioritize the fight against climate change.
Relief was a common theme expressed in many parts of the world to the news that Trump’s reelection bid failed.
“Welcome back America!” tweeted the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo.
Congratulations poured in for Biden from world capitals, included in nations governed by leaders who got along with Trump, essentially ignoring his claims that the divisive election race wasn’t over.
“The Americans have chosen their President. Congratulations @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris! We have a lot to do to overcome today’s challenges. Let’s work together!” tweeted French President Emmanuel Macron.
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Other leaders who sent congratulations included Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who’d been known for public displays of bonhomie with Trump, and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, a Trump ally.
Hailing Biden’s victory and the “historic achievement” of Kamala Harris’ election as the first Black woman vice president, Johnson said he looked forward to “working closely together on our shared priorities, from climate change to trade and security.”
Cascading around the globe on social media and live news broadcasts, word of the victory in Pennsylvania that pushed Barack Obama’s former vice president past the threshold of 270 Electoral College votes needed to take over the Oval Office sparked cheers in a Rome coffee bar and celebrations elsewhere.
A city official in Berlin said, “After the birth of my son, the election of Joe Biden is by far the best news of this year.”
“Everything won’t get better overnight, but Trump is finally gone!” tweeted the official, Sawsan Chebli.
India’s prime minister posted a photo of himself with Biden and sent congratulations for “your spectacular victory!”
“I look forward to working closely together once again to take India-US relations to greater heights,” Modi said.
He also congratulated Vice President-elect Harris in a separate tweet for her “pathbreaking” success and said her win is a “matter of immense pride” for all Indian-Americans.
Her election struck an immediate chord internationally.
“It makes us proud that the first woman to serve as vice president of the USA traces her roots to India,” said the leader of India’s opposition Congress party, Rahul Gandhi.
Harris’ late mother was from India. Kamala is Sanskrit for “lotus flower,” and Harris gave nods to her Indian heritage throughout the campaign.
“She will be an incredible example and important role model for young girls throughout the world, showing them girls and boys enjoy the same rights and opportunities,” Belgian prime minister Alexander De Croo said.
Western allies quickly looked forward to a fresh start with a new administration in Washington.
“We’re looking forward to working with the next U.S. government,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas tweeted. “We want to work in our cooperation for a new trans-Atlantic beginning, a New Deal.”
Italy’s foreign minister, Luigi Di Maio, closed out his tweeted message of congratulations with Italian and U.S. flags.
“Ready to keep on working to make our relations ever stronger in defense of peace and freedom,” he said.
Story by John Leicester. AP journalists around the world contributed.