ANKARA – World leaders on Saturday congratulated US President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on their capturing the White House, as projected by major media outlets.
In Europe, French President Emmanuel Macron on Twitter sent a congratulatory message to Biden and Harris saying: “We have a lot to do to overcome today’s challenges. Let’s work together!”
Angela Merkel, Germany’s first female chancellor, congratulated Biden as well as Kamala Harris, the “first female vice president,” her spokesperson said on Twitter.
“I look forward to working together with President Biden in the future. Our transatlantic friendship is indispensable if we are to face the greatest challenges of our time,” said Merkel.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also took Twitter to congratulate Biden and Harris on their “historic achievement.”
“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,” said Johnson, whose nation forms one half of the US-UK “special relationship.”
Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo also said: “A record number of people have cast their vote in this election. This illustrates the vibrancy of the American political life and its democracy.”
Robert Abela, prime minister of the island nation of Malta, also congratulated Biden and Harris on their victory, adding that Harris “as first woman vp in the US – [is] so inspiring.”
“Congratulations to the American people and institutions for an outstanding turnout of democratic vitality,” said Giuseppe Conte, Italy’s prime minister.
“We are ready to work with the President-elect Joe Biden to make the transatlantic relationship stronger. The US can count on Italy as a solid Ally and a strategic partner,” he added.
While such congratulations from world leaders are standard, they carry added poignancy after nearly four years of defeated incumbent Donald Trump, who has strained US relations with most of its Western allies.
Trump has promised to challenge the race’s outcome, but messages to Biden by such major players as Britain and Germany also may put pressure on the outgoing president to concede.
Across the continent, congratulations
Swiss President Simonetta Sommaruga said on Twitter: “This is a strong signal. Switzerland is convinced that our excellent relations with the United States will continue to develop and thrive under the new administration.”
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis also took Twitter to congratulate Biden, saying: “Joe Biden has been a true friend of Greece and I’m certain that under his presidency the relationship between our countries will grow even stronger.”
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz also said on Twitter: “Europe and the United States share a system of values – values that we stand up for together.”
“Looking forward to our future cooperation!” he added.
Antonio Costa, Portugal’s prime minister, tweeted: “We look forward to working with the new USA Administration to reinforce transatlantic relations and cooperate on global issues, such as climate change, defense of democracy and international security.”
Mark Rutte, prime minister of the Netherlands, also tweeted “on behalf of the Dutch cabinet” that he would like to congratulate Biden and Harris for “their election victory after a close race.”
“I am looking forward to continue the strong bond between our countries, and hope to speak with him about these matters soon,” he added.
NATO and EU
The chief of NATO — the transatlantic alliance disparaged and strained by Biden’s predecessor — also congratulated the victors.
“US leadership is as important as ever in an unpredictable world, and I look forward to working very closely with President-elect Biden, Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris and the new administration to further strengthen the bond between North America and Europe,” said Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in a statement.
“We need this collective strength to deal with the many challenges we face, including a more assertive Russia, international terrorism, cyber and missile threats, and a shift in the global balance of power with the rise of China. We can only be secure and successful if we face these challenges together,” he added.
Ursula von der Leyen, president of the EU Commission, and European Council President Charles Michel also sent their congratulations in separate statements.
“The EU and the USA are friends and allies, our citizens share the deepest of links. I look forward to working with President-elect Biden,” said von der Leyen.
“We take note of the latest development in the electoral process. On this basis the EU congratulates President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on reaching enough Electoral Votes,” said Michel.
“The EU underlines, once again, its commitment to a strong transatlantic partnership and stands ready to engage with the elected President, new Congress and Administration,” he added.
Michel also hailed the record turnout of American voters.
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell also congratulated Biden and Harris, saying: “Record voter turnout expressed will of the American people for change.”
“Great day for US and Europe, we look forward to working together with new administration to rebuild our partnership,” he added.
Arab leaders congratulate Biden
Messages from Arab leaders also poured in Saturday congratulating Biden and Harris on their White House victory.
Leaders from Qatar, Lebanon, and Egypt were among those welcoming the victory, as projected by major US media outlets.
The emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, congratulated Biden and Harris.
“I look forward to working together to continue strengthening the friendship between our countries,” Sheikh Tamim wrote on Twitter.
Lebanese President Michel Aoun also congratulated Biden on his victory.
Aoun expressed hope that during Biden’s term “balance in the Lebanese-American relations will return for the good of the friendly Lebanese and American peoples.”
Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Egypt’s president, was among the first Arab leaders to congratulate Biden.
In a statement by presidential spokesperson Bassam Radi, el-Sisi said that he looks forward “for cooperation and joint action to strengthen the strategic bilateral relations between Egypt and the United States for the interest of the two countries and peoples.”
Jordan’s King Abdullah II also congratulated the US president-elect.
“I look forward to working with you on further advancing the solid historic partnership between Jordan and the United States, in the interest of our shared objectives of peace, stability and prosperity,” Abdullah II tweeted, along with a photo of him and Biden.
Palestinians voice relief
While the Palestinian leadership has yet to comment on Biden’s victory, several Palestinian groups and officials expressed their satisfaction over the departure of President Donald Trump, the architect of such anti-Palestinian moves as recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and the so-called “deal of the century.”
Nabil Shaath, a Senior Palestinian official, said that “nothing was worse than Trump’s era, his departure is a gain.”
Hamas group leader Ismail Haniyeh did not comment directly on Biden winning, but did say: “US President Donald Trump, who sought to obliterate Palestine’s cause, has gone and Jerusalem will not go.”
East Jerusalem is seen as the capital of a future Palestinian state.
Asian leaders vow to work
Leaders of Asian nations took to Twitter on Saturday to congratulate Biden for his win in the presidential election.
The leaders in separate messages said they will work to strengthen bilateral relations and peace in the region.
“Congratulations @JoeBiden & @KamalaHarris. Look forward to President Elect Biden’s Global Summit on Democracy & working with him to end illegal tax havens & stealth of nation’s wealth by corrupt ldrs [leaders]. We will also continue to work with US for peace in Afghanistan & in the region,” said Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said he would work for peace in the Indo-Pacific region.
“Warm congratulations to @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris. I look forward to working with you to further strengthen the Japan-US Alliance and ensure peace, freedom, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond,” he said.
Indian Premier Narendra Modi said he looked forward to working with Biden again and vowed to strengthen India-US relations under the new administration.
“Congratulations @JoeBiden on your spectacular victory! As the VP, your contribution to strengthening Indo-US relations was critical and invaluable. I look forward to working closely together once again to take India-US relations to greater heights,” Modi wrote.
In a separate tweet, Modi greeted Harris, who is Black and Indian-American.
“Your success is pathbreaking, and a matter of immense pride… for all Indian-Americans. I am confident that the vibrant India-US ties will get even stronger with your support and leadership,” he said.
Jacinda Ardern, who was sworn-in Friday for a second time as Prime Minister of New Zealand, lauded the “message of unity” of the Biden campaign.
“Congratulations President-elect @JoeBiden & @KamalaHarris on your victory in the US Presidential election. With so many issues facing the international community, your message of unity is one we share. New Zealand looks forward to working with you both!” she said.
Wishing success to Biden and his deputy, Harris, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said: “The Australia-US Alliance is deep and enduring, and built on shared values. I look forward to working with you closely as we face the world’s many challenges together.”
The American states of Georgia, North Carolina and Alaska remain outstanding several days after Tuesday’s election, but it is now mathematically impossible for Trump to win re-election without a major change in vote counts.
“America, I’m honored that you have chosen me to lead our great country,” Biden said on Twitter ahead of a public address expected later Saturday.
“The work ahead of us will be hard, but I promise you this: I will be a President for all Americans — whether you voted for me or not. I will keep the faith that you have placed in me,” he said.
Biden, 77, was elected the 46th president of the United States, making him the oldest incoming president in US history. (Anadolu)