President Donald Trump has not yet conceded to Joe Biden but that isn’t stopping world leaders from reaching out to the politician they assume will be in the White House come January.
On Tuesday a flurry of world leaders phoned the president-elect, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron and Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin.
“I’m letting them know that America is back,” Biden said during a press conference on Tuesday. “We’re going to be back in the game, it’s not America alone.”
On Monday night, Trudeau became the first world leader to announce he had spoken to Biden by phone, saying they discussed the need to “tackle the challenges and opportunities facing our two countries.”
In a two-part tweet, the prime minister wrote that the long list of issues needing addressed by the neighbours include Covid-19, the climate crisis, racial injustice, trade, energy, NATO and relations with China.
In Germany, Merkel’s spokesperson said on Tuesday the chancellor had telephoned Biden to offer her congratulations and that both leaders had agreed that “trans-Atlantic cooperation is of great importance.”
Many European leaders have echoed similar hope that a Biden administration can revive their battered ties with Washington after four years of attacks from Trump.
Macron told Biden of his desire to work together on issues such as climate change, health, terrorism and the defence of fundamental rights, Macron’s office said.
Macron also commented on the exchange in a Facebook post.
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“We’ll have a lot to do together to promote shared priorities – climate, global health, international security – and effective multilateral action,” wrote Macron, whose energetic efforts to win Trump over for multilateral approaches to issues such as the Iran nuclear deal and climate change had born little fruit.
Johnson said he spoke to Biden on Tuesday, with British media reporting the call lasted around 25 minutes.
There has been speculation on both sides of the Atlantic about how smooth the relationship between the two men will be given Johnson’s affinity with Trump.
Downing Street said that during the wide-ranging call Johnson “warmly
congratulated” Biden on his victory, Britain’s Press Association reported.
In a tweet, Johnson wrote: “I look forward to strengthening the partnership between our countries and to working with him on our shared priorities – from tackling climate change, to promoting democracy and building back better from the pandemic.”
The issue of Brexit went unmentioned in Johnson’s tweet.
Johnson is keen to reach a post-Brexit trade deal with Washington. But Biden has warned that such an agreement would only be possible as long as there is no hard border on the island of Ireland after Britain leaves the EU’s customs union at the end of the year.
Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin meanwhile tweeted that he had a “warm and engaging call” with Biden, who had “great love for his Irish heritage.”
With Ireland deeply concerned about the impact of Britain’s exit from the European Union on Northern Ireland, Martin said that Biden had “underlined his commitment to the Good Friday Agreement” which ended decades of strife between pro-Irish and pro-British groups in the region.
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