US President-elect Joe Biden
US President-elect Joe Biden
AFP

US President-elect Joe Biden on Tuesday had congratulatory calls with leaders of France, Germany, Ireland and the United Kingdom, during which in addition to bilateral issues they discussed efforts to address global challenges like COVID-19 together.

On Monday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was the first foreign leader to have spoken over the phone with the US President-elect. In 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was among the first five world leaders to have a congratulatory call with the then president-elect Donald Trump.

Modi was among the first few foreign leaders to congratulate Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris over Twitter. Unlike Trump, Biden has not responded to the Twitter greetings of world leaders.

During the call, President-elect Biden thanked President Emmanuel Macron of France for his congratulations and expressed his desire to strengthen relations between the United States and France, its oldest ally.

Biden conveyed his interest in reinvigorating bilateral and trans-Atlantic ties, including through NATO and the European Union, according to a readout of the call issued by Biden-Harris Transition.

They discussed cooperating on a range of shared interests, such as containing COVID-19 and building global health security; tackling the threat of climate change; strengthening human rights, and laying the foundations for a sustainable global economic recovery.

Biden also expressed his readiness to work together on global challenges, including security and development in Africa, the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria, and Iran's nuclear program, the readout said.

During the phone call, Biden expressed gratitude to German Chancellor Angela Merkel for her congratulations, praised her leadership, and noted that he looked forward to strengthening relations between the United States and Germany and revitalizing the trans-Atlantic relationship, including through NATO and the EU.

Biden noted his interest in working closely with Merkel on common interests and challenges, including containing COVID-19; addressing the climate crisis, and working toward a sustainable global economic recovery. He also welcomed the opportunity to cooperate on a shared agenda with the EU.

The President-elect in his call with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson offered his thanks for his congratulations and expressed his desire to strengthen the special relationship and re-double cooperation on issues of mutual concern.

Biden noted that he especially looks forward to working closely together on global challenges as the United Kingdom prepares to host the 2021 G-7 and the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26).

Among the shared priorities they discussed were containing COVID-19 and promoting global health security; pursuing a sustainable economic recovery; combating climate change; strengthening democracy, and working together on issues such as the Western Balkans and Ukraine.

The President-elect expressed his interest in cooperating with the UK, NATO, and the EU on shared trans-Atlantic priorities, and reaffirmed his support for the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland, the readout said.

According to the Transition team, Biden spoke with Taoiseach Micheál Martin of Ireland, during which he thanked him for his congratulations and highlighted his desire to strengthen the enduring personal, cultural, and economic ties between the United States and Ireland.

"He noted that he looked forward to working with the Taoiseach to address shared challenges such as controlling COVID-19; building a sustainable economic recovery, and tackling climate change. He also reaffirmed his support for the Good Friday Agreement and the peace process in Northern Ireland," said the readout.

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