LONDON — It was a sigh heard around the world
With virtually palpable aid, longstanding American allies welcomed Joe Biden as he was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States on Wednesday. Some signaled hopes for a radical change within the White Home, notably in its strategy to climate change and the coronavirus pandemic. And some took parting photographs at Donald Trump and his nationalist, “America first” agenda.
The European Union’s high politician, Ursula von der Leyen, mentioned that “after 4 lengthy years, Europe has a buddy within the White Home.”
“This time-honored ceremony on the steps of the U.S. Capitol might be an indication of the resilience of American democracy,” she added in a speech in Brussels.
Spain’s prime minister, Pedro Sanchez, in the meantime, mentioned that Biden represented “victory of democracy over the ultra-right.”
Then he took goal instantly on the former president.
“5 years in the past, we thought Trump was a foul joke, however 5 years later we realized he jeopardized nothing lower than the world’s strongest democracy,” he mentioned in a speech.
References to tensions between Europe and the U.S. underneath Trump, who accused the European Union of making an attempt to benefit from America and mentioned European allies “by no means handled us properly,” have been a hanging departure from previous congratulatory messages.
However they mirrored the alarm that many on the continent felt as Trump broke with longstanding norms and made widespread trigger with the far proper — alarm that was horror because the insurrectionist mob encouraged by Trump overtook the Capitol on Jan. 6.
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German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier echoed these issues as he mentioned he was “significantly relieved” and prompt that a lot of his fellow countrymen felt the identical means.
“Regardless of all the enjoyment we really feel in the present day, we should not overlook that even essentially the most highly effective democracy on the planet has been seduced by populism,” he mentioned as Biden ready to be sworn in. “We should work resolutely to counter polarization, defend and strengthen the general public sq. in our democracies, and form our insurance policies on the idea of cause and details.”
Calling it a “important day for the American individuals,” French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted that his nation was “collectively” with them.
“We might be stronger to face the challenges of our time. Stronger to construct our future. Stronger to guard our planet,” he mentioned, earlier than welcoming the U.S. again to the Paris Settlement on local weather change.
Some world leaders — notably those that had nearer relations with Trump — issued extra normal statements of congratulations.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson mentioned, “America’s management is significant on the problems that matter to us all, from local weather change to Covid.” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu mentioned he had “a heat private friendship going again many many years” with Biden.
Officers in China, which noticed relations with the U.S. bitter dramatically over the previous 4 years, have been extra circumspect, with International Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying saying that Beijing hoped Biden would push “relations again to the best monitor as quickly as doable.”
For some American rivals, the inauguration Wednesday was much less a second to congratulate Biden and extra a chance to put into Trump and his overseas insurance policies.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani additionally urged the incoming administration to return to a 2015 nuclear agreement and raise sanctions on Tehran, whereas welcoming the top of “tyrant” President Donald Trump’s period.
“The ball is within the U.S. courtroom now. If Washington returns to Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal, we may even totally respect our commitments underneath the pact,” Rouhani mentioned in a televised Cupboard assembly.
Fawzi Barhoum, a spokesman for Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist militant group that governs the blockaded Gaza Strip, mentioned Trump had been “the most important supply and sponsor of injustice, violence and extremism on the planet and the direct companion of the Israeli occupation within the aggression towards our individuals.”
The Related Press and Reuters contributed to this report.
Andy Eckardt, Ann-Kathrin Pohlers, Paul Goldman and Claudio Lavanga contributed.