United States – All over the world, leaders waited. Saturday finally brought news that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won the American presidential election. The global reaction was overwhelming relief and optimism for a warming trend in the chilly relations with our allies. Although Kamala Harris may be an unknown entity, Joe Biden brings previous experience as vice president during the Obama administration. Global leaders are reacting to Joe Biden as a new, yet familiar presence on the world stage.
Today, the world of technology impacts the speed in which the world can respond to an American election in real-time. Where, even 15 years ago, a world leader would have made a congratulatory phone call or even sent a telegram, most of today’s leaders tweeted their good wishes.
Most of the tweets were positive with expressions of hope for better working relationships and peace in the future. This is a far cry from the tensions fomented by the Trump administration’s “America First” isolationist stance.
Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani tweeted, “Afghanistan looks forward to continuing/deepening our multilayered strategic partnership w/ the United States—our foundational partner—including in counterterrorism & bringing peace to Afghanistan.”
There were other warm wishes expressed by Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau. He tweeted, “Our two countries are close friends, partners, and allies.”
The United Kingdom’s Boris Johnson wants to collaborate on “our shared priorities…from climate change to trade and security.” Donald Trump often boasted about his close relationship with the U.K.’s prime minister.
From his tweet, London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, appeared to be especially jubilant. He said, “London looks forward to working with you — it’s time to get back to building bridges, not walls.” Khan bumped heads with Trump on several occasions when he lobbed racist accusations at London’s mayor.
Even the Palestine Liberation Organization’s leader, Hanan Ashrawi, tweeted out an enthusiastic headline, “America Detrumped!” In 2017, Trump’s relocation of the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem became a major sticking point for Palestinians. Things haven’t gotten any better with the “peace plan” authored by senior White House advisor, Jared Kushner. The plan involves annexing the West Bank and Gaza leaving Palestinians as Jordanian or Israeli citizens.
Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu noted his “…long & warm personal relationship for nearly 40 years” with Joe Biden. But Netanyahu found a kindred spirit in Donald Trump. Netanyahu shouted out the former president and thanked him “for the friendship.”
Anne Hidalgo, Paris’ mayor, began her tweet with “Welcome back, America.” French president, Emmanuel Macron, tweeted his congratulations, adding that “We have a lot to do to overcome today’s challenges…Let’s work together.”
Like a proud uncle, Narendra Modi, India’s president, gushed warmly that Kamala Harris’ success was “a matter of immense pride not just for your chittis, but also for all Indian-Americans.”
Despite the numerous well-wishers from around the world, there were other leaders who sent let’s-wait-and-see messages. The Vice President of Iran, Eshagh Jahangiri, sent his message via Iranian state media. His statement in part said, “I hope we will see a change in the destructive policies of the United States, a return to the rule of law and international obligations and respect for nations.”
Trump’s stringent tariffs and trade policies have negatively affected the Iranian quality of life. These policies were implemented for Iran’s perceived violation of a nuclear agreement with the U.S. However, former members of the Obama administration who negotiated the deal, have said that Iran has not violated the agreement.
The Chinese government, specifically President Xi, has yet to formally congratulate the new Biden administration. Some observers note that with almost two months to go until Donald Trump exits the White House, China doesn’t appear to want to rattle his cage any more than necessary. As reported to CNN, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson referred to China acting “in accordance with international practice.”
The “elephant in the room” is Russia’s reaction to the Biden-Harris win. Unlike when Donald Trump won in 2016, the Kremlin has not yet issued a congratulatory statement. Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that his government is waiting on the final outcome of the American election. He noted that Russia wants to see how Trump’s legal election challenges play out. In the end, Peskov emphasized that President Vladimir Putin is ready to work with any U.S. leader as reported by Reuters.
Will the global good wishes on the U.S. election translate into a New World Order of universal cooperation and peace?
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