LONDON – On Saturday after Joe Biden was elected President, the sighs of traditional allies of the United States sighed in relief.
Many heads of state and government have been beaten by the four years of cross-congressional President Donald Trump and see Biden as a counterpart that will try to put America back on a path of multilateralism and international cooperation.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who had a close relationship with Trump, was among the first world leaders to issue a statement congratulating Biden and his colleague, Kamala Harris.
“Our two countries are close friends, partners and allies. We share a relationship that is unique on the world stage,” said Trudeau wrote Shortly after it was revealed that the former vice president had won the key state of Pennsylvania, according to NBC News predictions. “I’m really looking forward to working with and building on both of you.”
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo was less diplomatic.
“Welcome back to America!” you wrote on Twitter. “Congratulations to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on your choice!”
The news comes after days of fear, not just in America but around the world, as the presidential race came to an end.
The post-election route has repeated Trump and his allies, falsely pointing out that the continuous counting of eligible voters is a sign of fraud. His campaign has filed lawsuits in battlefield states, raising concerns that he would not accept defeat.
“If you count the legal votes, I win easily,” Trump said, reiterating an unsubstantiated claim – there is no evidence that fraudulent ballots were counted.
Comments like these are a blow to America’s image as an exponent of democracy and are likely to further warm some of America’s long-standing allies to a Biden victory.
Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas welcomed the “clear figures” that drove Biden to victory.
“We look forward to working with the next US administration. We want to invest in our collaboration for a new transatlantic beginning, a new deal,” he continued Twitter.
Relations with NATO and particularly with Germany were strained under Trump, so that a new US leader is warmly welcomed by many in the military alliance. Trump also publicly criticized Chancellor Angela Merkel.
“Europeans will be very relieved,” said Hans Kundnani, a senior research fellow at Chatham House, a UK-based think tank focused on Europe and transatlantic relations, ahead of the elections. “Biden will be more diplomatic with allies across the board, especially Europeans.”
But not everyone will be happy about the prospect of a Biden presidency.
A sense of unease is likely to be felt in parts of the Middle East, where Trump’s White House has particularly close ties with the leaders of longtime U.S. partners Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Israel and Egypt.
“They will try to live with Biden and, from their point of view, make the best of a bad situation,” Fawaz Gerges, professor of international relations at the London School of Economics, told NBC News. “They put most of their eggs in Trump’s basket – he’s been good to them.”
Download the NBC News App for the latest news about the coronavirus
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow will work with any US leader, but Biden’s victory will be a net negative for Russia, Moscow-based political analyst Vladimir Frolov said ahead of the election.
Biden last month described Russia as the greatest threat to US national security – an assessment the Kremlin described as encouraging hatred of Russia. He also promised that Russia would pay an economic price if it interfered in the elections.
“Moscow pays close attention and doesn’t like what it sees,” said Frolov.
But even when the outcome of the race was final, there were indications that the battle for the White House might still be over.
“Joe Biden has not been certified as a state winner … As of Monday, our campaign will follow our case in court to ensure electoral laws are fully complied with and the rightful winner sits,” Trump said in a statement on Saturday.
Before the result, one of the leading news agencies in Germany, The mirrorled its website on Friday with a story entitled “The Squatter,” illustrated with a drawing of Trump barricading himself in the Oval Office with a shotgun in hand. In the news of Biden’s victory on Saturday, this was replaced by the rephrasing of Trump’s popular slogan, “Make America Great Again,” when Biden reassembled the Statue of Liberty.