Leaders from around the world congratulated newly sworn-in U.S. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on Wednesday, expressing cautious optimism over future relations after four years of tumult under Donald Trump.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel praised the swearing-in ceremony of the new president and vice president as “a true celebration of American democracy.”
“I look forward to a new chapter of German-American friendship and cooperation,” said her spokesman Steffen Seibert, who quoted the chancellor on Twitter.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who butted heads with Trump over trade, said that “Canada and the United States enjoy one of the most unique relationships in the world.”
He said he looked forward to working with the new administration to promote climate action, clean economic growth, inclusion and diversity.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg called Wednesday “the start of a new chapter.”
The 70-year-old Western military alliance was shaken by Trump’s frequent criticism, who often cast it as a drain on U.S. resources.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who appeared to have a chummy relationship with Trump, congratulated Biden “on being sworn in as President of the United States” and Harris “on her historic inauguration” on Twitter.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was blunt in telling Scotland’s Parliament Trump wouldn’t be missed.
“I’m sure many of us across the chamber and across Scotland will be very happy to say cheerio to Donald Trump today,” British news agency PA Media reported her as saying.
In Brussels, top European Union officials welcomed a new era of cooperation with Washington after four years of often being treated like a hostile ally.
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte tweeted that “this is a great day for democracy, reaching far beyond the American borders.”
Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin gave special mention to Harris, saying “my warmest congratulations! I look forward (to) working with you and the new administration.”
She named the climate, equality, and human rights as areas of focus.
Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said on Facebook that she hoped Biden would become a unifying force “after the unrest and division” seen in American society.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison congratulated Biden and Harris and said “the Australia-U.S. Alliance has never been more important.”
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, an ally of Trump’s, congratulated Biden and said that he hoped the two countries could pursue a free trade deal, in a letter posted on Twitter.
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga congratulated Biden and Harris and said he looked forward to “working with you and your team to strengthen our alliance and realise a free and open Indo-Pacific.”
South Korea’s President Moon Jae In has expressed hope for future strengthening of the two countries’ alliance: “America is back,” Moon wrote in a congratulatory message addressed to Biden on Twitter.
In a separate congratulatory telegram to the U.S. president, Moon wrote that he wished the two could meet directly in the near future to build “friendship and trust.”
“We wish you and your administration every success. Taiwan stands ready to work with you as a global force for good,” Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen tweeted.