LONDON – For a world that held its breath as Americans went to the polls last Tuesday, victory by Joseph R. Biden Jr. Before President Trump aroused many emotions, but above all a sigh of relief.
As news of Mr. Biden’s victory echoed from Europe and the Middle East to Asia and Latin America on Saturday, foreign leaders sent their congratulations to him. Diplomats and commentators expressed gratitude, satisfaction, and even delight that a new president would bring a much-needed return to normal – which was alarmingly gone on the day Mr. Trump took office.
“Welcome back to America!” The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, said in a message on Twitter to Mr. Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, praising Canada’s historic friendship with the United States, said, “I really look forward to working together.” France’s President Emmanuel Macron said: “We still have a lot to do to overcome today’s challenges. Let’s work together! “German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced:” Our transatlantic friendship is irreplaceable, if we want to overcome the great challenges of the times “.
For many world leaders, the election’s importance is the same as the removal of Mr. Trump and the opening of Mr. Biden.
The former vice president is a familiar figure on the global scene, a Central Democrat who is capable of restoring the traditional habits and methods of American power abroad. Mr. Trump, who held no office before his presidency, was a major dissatisfaction, worsening alliances and questioning the liberal international order the United States helped build later. The War II.
“I’m feeling optimistic for the first time in a while,” said Simon Fraser, a former head of the British Foreign Office. “I do not expect a radical change in American foreign policy, but I do expect a change in body language and tone, and a shift from unilateralism to cooperation with allies. . “
Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister, didn’t wait for the race to be named, tweeted on Friday night, “The world may be a dark place right now – but today we’re seeing a little bit of a sudden break in the clouds. “
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, whom Trump sees as an ideological twins for populist tactics and in favor of Brexit, issued a more restrained statement, but pointed out Harris for “successful historical record ”as the first woman to be elected Vice President.
“The United States is our most important ally and I look forward to working closely together on our shared priorities from climate change to trade and security,” he said.
For allies in Europe, relief is noticeable. Mr. Trump supports Brexit because he sees it as a way of undermining the European Union. He imposed tariffs on European exports, pulled out of the Paris climate accord, and left France and Germany bragged about not paying enough to support NATO.
Even the leaders of Europe, who are trying to establish a relationship with Mr. Trump, like Mr. Macron, have finally given up. The diplomats said the leaders were now hoping to reestablish transatlantic relations, especially as Mr. Biden is expected to emphasize repairing broken ties with Europe. Europe.
Gérard Araud, the former French ambassador to Washington, who regularly participates in the exchanges between Mr. Trump and Mr. Macron, said: “You will be able to have a coherent conversation with an ordinary person.
Mr. Araud said the arrival of Mr. Biden – a “nice guy, a smiling guy”, as he said – will have an emotional resonance for many Europeans, especially the elderly. who fought to reconcile Mr. Trump’s resilient “America First” vision with the generous, if not perfect, country they knew in the postwar era.
“They need to love America,” he said. “There’s an emotional relationship with America, something Americans have always underestimated.”
However, very few Europeans believe that the United States will never return to the strong global participation that characterized the country at its height of power. The deep divide in American society and the nearby election have hinted at some that America under Biden will remain introverted and preoccupied with domestic problems.
Le Monde, one of the leading French papers, said in an editorial this week that “Trumpism” is a “long legacy of American politics”, not a fact. flags or a brief “ending”.
For the prosperous nations under Mr. Trump, Mr. Biden’s victory attracted more silent responses.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a close ally of Mr Trump who has a cold relationship with predecessor Barack Obama, appears to be waiting for an official result before congratulating Biden.
The Attorney General, Avi Nissenkorn, from Israel’s central Green and White party, part of the Netanyahu-led unity government, congratulated Mr. Biden and said he was sure that US-Israel relations “would be maintained. maintained and even stronger under Biden Management. “
Mr. Biden has steadfastly supported Israel. But in 2010, Mr. Netanyahu shunned the then vice president when his government announced it approved 1,600 Jewish settlements in the West Bank while Mr. Biden remained in the country. Hillary Clinton, who was secretary of state at the time, berated Netanyahu for what the White House considered an insult.
Across the Arab world, people watch the elections to get a taste of what they lack back home: the chance to change rulers through the ballot box.
“It was fascinating,” said Basil Salloukh, associate professor of political science at Lebanon American University in Beirut. But he said that he did not expect major changes in US policy toward the region.
“Tomorrow we will wake up and realize that America is still the new imperial power and support regimes and reasons for not siding with freedom and democracy globally,” said Mr. Salloukh.
There was no immediate response from Arab leaders like Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, some of whom have forged close ties with Mr Trump.
Turkey’s strong president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, speaks to Mr Trump about once a month – a relationship that has helped the country avoid sanctions and heavy fines. News organizations close to the Erdogan government have openly supported Trump and have been bitter about his signs of failure.
Mr. Biden’s long political career has left him with a lot of relationships between world leaders. When he visited Turkey in 2011, Erdogan, who was recovering from a medical procedure, invited him to his own home. The two men in slippers had a two-hour conversation on sensitive issues, including Syria and Turkey opposing new sanctions on Iran.
Mr. Biden told reporters: “I didn’t want to sound like I was exaggerating my importance or my relationship with him, but we listened to each other. And he really listens to my point of view and doesn’t challenge it. “
Mr. Biden has a long foreign policy profile from his White House and Senate days, which foreign leaders are exploiting to find clues about how he could change the direction of US policy toward the country. family.
In Afghanistan, officials have been trying to find a victory in Biden and reversing Trump’s policies, namely the gradual withdrawal of US troops under a February peace deal with the Taliban, signed. in Qatar.
Iran is also looking for hope for a fresh start. Many Iranians rejoiced at the defeat of a president that had devastated their economy with sanctions, escalated tensions to the brink of war and assassinated a top general.
Ali Gholizadeh, a political analyst from Mashhad Tehran, said: “Trump and his followers are collapsing in the trash of history while our Iran stands.
Not everyone welcomes the change.
In Hungary, where Prime Minister Viktor Orban has presided over what he calls a “non-free state”, the far-right Volner Party said it will rally in front of the US Embassy in Budapest to fight “yes election fraud. could happen in the US presidential election and unite with President Donald Trump ”.
Shortly after the US media called the race to win Mr. Biden, “Biden” became the most popular topic on Weibo, a platform like China’s Twitter.
Hu Xijin, editor of the Global Times of the Chinese national newspaper, said Trump “has yet to show a gesture of preparing to accept failure,” adding that “American society is very divided. much, this creates land for even more political derailment ”.
But Mr. Hu’s store, Global Times, tweeted shortly after that “Biden’s victory could give some ‘breath’ to China-US relations.”
Report contributed by Steven Erlanger in Brussels, Aurelien Breeden and Liz Alderman in Paris, Melissa Eddy in Berlin, Ben Hubbard in Beirut, Lebanon, Isabel Kershner in Jerusalem, Carlotta Gall in Istanbul, Jeffrey Gettleman in New Delhi, Ivan Nechepurenko in Moscow, Vivian Wang in Hong Kong, Fatima Faizi and Najim Rahim in Kabul, Farnaz Fassini in New York, Catherine Porter in Toronto, and Anna Joyce in Dublin.