LONDON – For a world that held its breath as US lawmakers last Tuesday, Joseph R. over President Trump. Biden Jr.’s victory provoked many emotions, but above all, a deep sigh of relief.
As soon as news of Mr. Biden’s victory came from Europe and the Middle East to Asia and Latin America, he was greeted by foreign leaders on Saturday. Diplomats and commentators expressed gratitude, satisfaction, and even jumble that a new president would bring a much-needed return to normalcy – something that Mr. Trump took office for.
“Welcome to America!” The Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, said in a Twitter message to Mr. Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau praised the United States’ historic friendship with Canada, saying, “I am really looking forward to working together.” French President Emmanuel Macron said, “We have a lot to overcome today’s challenges. Let’s work together! “Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany declared,” Our trans-Atlantic friendship is irreplaceable, if we are to overcome the great challenges of our time. “
For many world leaders, the significance of this election was about Mr. Biden’s removal of Mr. Trump.
The former Vice President is a familiar fixture on the global stage, a centrist Democrat who is likely to restore the traditional habits and ways of American power abroad. Mr. Trump, who held no office before the presidency, has been a major disruption, leaving skeptics in the alliances and the liberal international order created by the United States after World War II in doubt.
“I am optimistic for the first time in a long time,” said Simon Fraser, former head of Britain’s Foreign Office. “I am not expecting a radical change in American foreign policy, but I do expect a change in body language and tone, and want to collaborate with an ally away from unilateralism.”
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said in a tweet on Friday evening that the race could not wait to be called, “The world may be a dark place right now – but today we see a mite in the clouds”.
Britain’s Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, whom Mr Trump regarded as an ideological twin because of his populist tactics and the championship of Brexit, issued a more restrained statement, but Ms. Harris was described as a “landmark achievement” for him. Chosen as. Vice President.
“America is our most important ally,” he said, “and I look forward to working together on our shared priorities from climate change to trade and security.”
For the allies in Europe, the relief was minimal. Mr Trump supported Brexit because he saw it as a way to weaken the European Union. He imposed tariffs on European exports, pulled out of the Paris Climate Agreement and harassed France and Germany about not paying enough to support NATO.
Even European leaders tried to establish a rapport with Mr. Trump, eventually giving up. Diplomats said that these leaders now hoped to reestablish the trans-Atlantic relationship, especially since Mr. Biden was expected to insist on repairing sinister relations with Europe.
“You’ll be able to have a coherent conversation with a normal person,” said Gerard Ard, the former French ambassador to Washington, who sat in on the often controversial exchanges between Mr. Trump and Mr. Macron.
Mr. Arad said on Mr. Biden’s arrival – “a nice boy, a smiling boy,” as he said – it would be an emotional echo for many Europeans, especially older people, who would be Mr. Trump’s “America First.” Used to struggle to contain Visions with the liberal, if imperfect, country they knew in later periods.
“They need to love America,” he said. “There is a sentimental relationship with America, which Americans always underestimate.”
However, few Europeans believe that America will ever return to the intense global engagement that brought it to the peak of its power. Deep divisions and close elections in American society suggested to some that a Biden presidency of the United States would remain inward and prejudicial to domestic issues.
One of France’s leading newspapers, Le Monde, said in an editorial this week that “Trumpism” was a permanent legacy of American politics, “not an accident or a brief” interjection. “
For rich countries led by Mr. Trump, Mr. Biden’s victory attracted more silent responses.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Mr. Trump’s staunch aide who had a sweet relationship with his predecessor Barack Obama, was waiting for official results before congratulating Mr. Biden.
The Minister of Justice, Avi Nisenkorn, from Israel’s centrist Blue and White Party, who is in the Netanyahu-led unity government, congratulated Mr Biden and said he was sure that the US-Israeli relationship would be “maintained and even That will be stronger. ” Biden Administration. “
Mr. Biden has consistently supported Israel. But in 2010, Mr. Netanyahu ousted the then Vice President, when his government announced the approval of 1,600 Jewish settlements in the West Bank, while Mr. Biden was still in the country. Hillary Clinton, who was then Secretary of State, provoked Netanyahu into what the White House should be called.
Across the Arab world, people followed the election to what they lacked at home: the opportunity to replace the ruler through the ballot box.
“It’s fascinating,” said Basil Saloukh, associate professor of political science at the Lebanese American University of Beirut. But he said he did not expect major changes in the United States policy of the region.
“Tomorrow we will wake up and realize that America is still the new imperial power and supports those regimes and causes in favor of freedom and democracy globally,” Mr. Salloukh said.
There was no immediate response from Arab leaders such as Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, some of whom cultivated close ties with Mr. Trump.
Turkey’s strong president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, speaks once a month with Mr. Trump – a relationship that has helped the country avoid sanctions and heavy fines. News organizations close to the Erdogan government have openly supported Mr Trump and there has been increasing bitterness over signs of his losing.
Mr. Biden’s long political career has left him with a huge Rolodex of contacts between world leaders. When he visited Turkey in 2011, Mr. Erdogan, admitted to a medical procedure, invited him to his private residence. The two men, clad in slippers, held two-hour talks on sensitive issues, including Syria and Turkey’s opposition to new sanctions against Iran.
Mr. Biden told reporters, “I don’t want to hear that I’m increasing my importance or relationship with him,” but we’ve listened to each other. And he was really listening to my perspective and not challenging it. “
Mr. Biden has a long foreign policy record in his White House and Senate days, mining for clues from foreign leaders about how he can change the direction of US policy toward his countries.
In Afghanistan, officials are rooted in the Biden victory and the rollback of Mr Trump’s policies, namely the gradual withdrawal of US troops under a February peace deal signed with the Taliban in Qatar.
Iran also expected a fresh start. Many Iranians rejoiced at the defeat of a president who devastated his economy with sanctions, tensions escalated to the brink of war and assassinated a top general.
“Trump and his followers are distorting our history of Iran,” said Ali Gholizadeh, a political analyst at Mashal Tehran.
Not everyone welcomed the change.
In Hungary, where Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has dubbed the “state of eliberal”, the presiding Warner Party said it would rally in front of the US embassy in Budapest against possible electoral fraud in the US presidential election. In solidarity with President Donald Trump. “
Shortly after the US news media called the race for Mr. Biden, “Biden” became the top trending topic on Weibo, a Chinese Twitter-like platform.
China’s nationalist tabloid Global Times editor Hu Xijin said that while showing a gesture of preparing to accept the defeat, Mr. Trump said, “American society is now very divided, which creates soil for further political humiliation.”
But Mr Hu’s outlet, Global Times, tweeted shortly after that “Biden’s victory could provide some ‘breathing room’ for Sino-America magazine.”
Reporting was contributed by Steven Erlanger in Brussels, Aurelin Breiden and Liz Alderman in Paris, Melissa Eddy in Berlin, Ben Hubbard in Beirut, Isabel Kishner in Lebanon, Jerusalem, Carlotta Gall in Istanbul, Jeffrey Getelman in New Delhi, Ivan Nechepurenko in Moscow . Vivian Wang in Hong Kong, Fatima Faizi and Nazim Rahim in Kabul, Fernaz Fascini in New York, Catherine Porter in Toronto and Anna Joyce in Dublin.