Leaders across the globe welcomed the arrival of President Biden and the end of the often confrontational presidency of Donald Trump, noting the world’s most pressing problems, including the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change, require multilateral cooperation, an approach Trump ridiculed. Many expressed hope Wednesday that Biden would right the world’s largest democracy two weeks after they watched rioters storm the Capitol, shaking the faith of those fighting for democracy in their own countries, the AP reports. Governments targeted and sanctioned under Trump embraced the chance for a fresh start with Biden, while some heads of state who lauded Trump’s blend of nationalism and populism were more restrained in their expectations for the Biden administration.
- French President Emmanuel Macron noted the urgency of addressing the perils the world faces from climate change after Trump withdrew the US from the Paris climate accord, a move Biden was to reverse in the first hours of his presidency. With Biden, "we will be stronger to face the challenges of our time. Stronger to build our future. Stronger to protect our planet," he tweeted. "Welcome back to the Paris Agreement!"
- "This new dawn in America is the moment we’ve been awaiting for so long," said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, hailing Biden’s arrival as "resounding proof that, once again after four long years, Europe has a friend in the White House."
- European Council President Charles Michel said that trans-Atlantic relations have "greatly suffered in the last four years. In these years, the world has grown more complex, less stable and less predictable." "We have our differences and they will not magically disappear. America seems to have changed, and how it’s perceived in Europe and the rest of the world has also changed," added Michel.
- In Germany, President Frank-Walter Steinmeier issued a video statement, calling Biden's inauguration a "good day for democracy." "Despite the attempts to tear at America’s institutional fabric, election workers and governors, the judiciary and Congress have proven strong," he said.
- Pope Francis urged Biden to help foster reconciliation in the US and build up a society "marked by authentic justice and freedom" and looking out especially for the poor.
- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who formed close ties with Trump, noted a "warm personal friendship" with Biden. "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.
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