It is not just the US that the election of a new president affects – a new leader in the White House can transform the country’s foreign policy and its approach to its friends and foes alike. Here is how some of the world’s leaders have reacted, and where they stand with the US.
Prime Minister, United Kingdom
“Congratulations to Joe Biden on his election… and to Kamala Harris on her 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”
With Brexit looming, the UK will soon have a very different transatlantic partner in Joe Biden. The UK currently trades with the US on terms set by the EU, but this will change on 1 January 2021 when the transition period ends – and the US and UK are trying to negotiate a new post-Brexit trade deal.
Mr. Biden – who often speaks of his Irish background – has said he would not allow peace in Northern Ireland to become a “Casualty of Brexit” if elected.
One of the most complicated issues as the UK leaves the EU is the frontier between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, which Mr. Biden does not want to become a “hard border”. Currently, there are no passport or customs controls on the border, and politicians on all sides fear a return to checks which existed during the decades of deadly civil unrest in Northern Ireland known as the Troubles.
Prime Minister, Israel
“Congratulations Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Joe, we’ve had a long & warm personal relationship for nearly 40 years, and I know you as a great friend of Israel. I look forward to working with both of you to further strengthen the special alliance between the US and Israel.”
“Thank you Donald Trump for the friendship you have shown the state of Israel and me personally, for recognizing Jerusalem and the Golan, for standing up to Iran, for the historic peace accords and for bringing the American-Israeli alliance to unprecedented heights.”
US policy in the Middle East shifted massively during Donald Trump’s presidency. He heightened tensions with Iran while recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and helped establish ties between Israel and several Arab states.
Mr. Biden’s suggestion he may rejoin the Iran nuclear deal will deeply concern Israeli policymakers. His likely objections to further Israeli settlement building in the occupied West Bank will also mark a shift from his predecessor.
Prime Minister, India
“Congratulations Joe Biden 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…
“Heartiest congratulations Kamala Harris! Your success is path-breaking, and a matter of immense pride not just for your chittis [aunts], but also for all Indian-Americans. I am confident that the vibrant India-US ties will get even stronger with your support and leadership.”
Kamala Harris is the daughter of an Indian biologist, and there have been celebrations in India after her victory. But both she and Mr. Biden have criticized the Hindu nationalist policies of Mr. Modi’s government, something Donald Trump did not do during his time in office.
Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan
United Arab Emirates
Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan congratulated Biden and Harris and expressed hopes for “further development and prosperity for the American people”
“Congratulations to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on winning the U.S. elections. Our sincere wishes for further development and prosperity for the American people. The UAE and USA are friends and allies with a strong historic partnership that we look forward to strengthening together,” the crown prince said in a statement.
Prime Minister, Canada
“Congratulations, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Our two countries are close friends, partners, and allies. We share a relationship that’s unique on the world stage. I’m really looking forward to working together and building on that with you both.”
Mr. Trudeau and Mr. Trump did not have the smoothest relationship. The Canadian liberal leader had noticeably different politics to his US counterpart, and will likely have a warmer partnership with Mr. Biden who shares his views on climate change and international affairs.
“The Americans have chosen their President… We have a lot to do to overcome today’s challenges. Let’s work together!”
Mr. Macron tried repeatedly to develop a good relationship with Mr. Trump – including inviting him to the Bastille Day military parade in 2017 – but has more political similarities to Mr. Biden, who like him favors international cooperation on climate change and diplomacy.
Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said it was too soon to congratulate Biden and he would wait for “all legal issues” in the US election to be resolved.
“We don’t want to be imprudent. We don’t want to act lightly and we want to respect people’s self-determination and rights,” Lopez Obrador, who has had good relations with Trump, told reporters.
Prime Minister, Japan
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga congratulated Biden and Harris, saying he looked forward to working with the new administration to further strengthen the alliance between the two countries.
“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 tweeted.
Prime Minister, Jamaica
“America will have its first female Vice President in the person of Kamala Harris, and we are proud that she bears Jamaican heritage.
“Her ascension to this role is a monumental accomplishment for women all over the world and I salute her.”
While Ms. Harris’s mother was Indian, her father is Jamaican by birth – sparking similar joy in the Caribbean country.
Ursula von der Leyen
President of the European Commission
European Union leaders Charles Michel and Ursula von der Leyen hailed Biden’s election, calling for stronger transatlantic ties.
“I warmly congratulate Mr. Joe Biden on his victory in the US presidential election and look forward to meeting him at the earliest possible opportunity,” European Commission President von der Leyen said.
“The European Union and the United States are friends and allies, our citizens share the deepest of links,” she said.
Meanwhile, former European Council President Donald Tusk wrote on Twitter: “Trump’s defeat can be the beginning of the end of the triumph of far-right populisms also in Europe.”
Secretary General, NATO
“I congratulate Joe Biden on his election as the next US President & Kamala Harris as Vice President. I know Joe Biden as a strong supporter of our Alliance & look forward to working closely with him. A strong NATO is good for both North America & Europe”
“We don’t want to be suckered anymore,” Donald Trump once said of the Nato alliance. Throughout his presidency, he demanded other members pay their fair share and even considered withdrawing from the US. Joe Biden will support a return to defense co-operation, although US requests for greater contributions from allies will likely continue.
Nasrin Nahar Jeneva
Director, International Corporate Association of Professionals (InCAP)
Nasrin Nahar Jeneva who had verbally jousted with Trump, congratulated Biden and Harris in a statement focused on cooperation.
“Welcome back America! We praise the massive turnout of the American people at the polls and congratulate Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on their historic victory. With so many issues facing the international community, your message of unity is one we share. InCAP looks forward to working with you both!”