World leaders from Iran, Germany, Britain, Taiwan, Italy, Spain, others, and Pope Francis had reacted to President Joe Biden’s inauguration, and to most of them, it is a relief and hopes to restore their bilateral relationship with the United States of America. A true assessment of leadership comes behind the leader.
Frank-Walter Steinmeier – The German president
The German president, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, said he was “greatly relieved” at Biden’s inauguration, hailing “a good day for democracy”. He said democracy under the Trump administration had faced “tremendous challenges and endured … and proved strong”. However, Walter said, “despite the joy of this day”, the last four years had shown that “we must resolutely stand up to polarisation, protect and strengthen our democracies, and make policy on the basis of reason and facts”.
Ursula von der Leyen- the European commission president
“This new dawn in America is the moment we’ve been waiting for so long. Once again, after four long years, Europe has a friend in the White House.”
Hassan Rouhani – President of Iran
Among the US’s more outspoken foes, Iran, which has repeatedly called on Washington to lift sanctions imposed over its nuclear drive, did not miss the chance to celebrate Trump’s departure.
“A tyrant’s era came to an end and today is the final day of his ominous reign,” said the president, Hassan Rouhani. “We expect the Biden’s administration to return to law and to commitments, and try in the next four years, if they can, to remove the stains of the past four years.” Biden’s administration has said it wants the US back in the landmark Iran nuclear accord from which Trump withdrew, providing Tehran returns to strict compliance.
Boris Johnson – Britain’s prime minister
Britain’s prime minister, Boris Johnson, who has faced criticism for his close relationship with Trump, said he was looking forward to working closely with Biden, citing a host of policy areas in which he hoped to collaborate. “In our fight against Covid and across climate change, defense, security, and in promoting and defending democracy, our goals are the same and our nations will work hand-in-hand to achieve them,” Johnson said in a statement.
Hsiao Bi-khim – Taiwan Diplomat
Taiwan diplomat formally attended Wednesday’s inauguration for the first time since 1979. Hsiao Bi-khim said, “democracy is our common language and freedom is our common objective. I look forward to working with the next administration in advancing our mutual values and interests.”
Giuseppe Conte – Italy’s prime minister
Italy’s prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, said his country was “looking forward to the Biden presidency, with which we will start working immediately.” He said the two countries had a strong common agenda, including “effective multilateralism, climate change, green and digital transition, and social inclusion”.
Pedro Sánchez – The Spanish prime minister
The Spanish prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, said Biden’s victory represented “the victory of democracy over the ultra-right and its three methods – massive deception, national division, and abuse, sometimes violent, of democratic institutions.”Five years ago, Sánchez said, the world had believed Trump to be “a bad joke. But five years later we realized he jeopardized nothing less than the world’s most powerful democracy.”
António Costa – The Portuguese prime minister
The Portuguese prime minister, António Costa, whose country holds the EU’s rotating presidency, said it was ready to work with Biden “from day one, to strengthen EU-US relations, reaffirm the enduring relevance of Nato and reinforce multilateral responses to climate change, defense of democracy and human rights”.
The Pope said he was praying Biden’s decisions would “be guided by a concern for building a society marked by authentic justice and freedom”, and that God would guide the efforts of the new president – who is a Catholic – “to foster understanding, reconciliation, and peace within the US and among the nations of the world”.
Mikhail Gorbachev – the former Soviet leader
The former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev called on Moscow and Washington to repair their ties. “The current condition of relations is of great concern,” he said. “But this also means that something has to be done about it in order to normalize relations. We cannot fence ourselves off from each other.”
Jens Stoltenberg – Nato Chief
The Nato chief, Jens Stoltenberg, said the military alliance hoped to strengthen transatlantic ties under the new president, adding that the world faced “global challenges that none of us can tackle alone”.