Joe Biden wins White House race: How the world reacted

Leaders around the world react as media outlets declare Joe Biden the winner of the 2020 United States presidential election race over Donald Trump.

The president-elect was projected to have surpassed the 270 electoral vote threshold after the Associated Press called the state of Pennsylvania in his favour [Angela Weiss/ AFP]

World leaders on Saturday began congratulating Joe Biden on winning the White House, shortly after several media outlets in the United States called the presidential race in his favour.

The Democratic candidate, 77, was projected to have surpassed the 270 electoral vote threshold needed to win his hard-fought matchup with incumbent Donald Trump. The 74-year-old Republican has not conceded defeat and vowed to pursue a number of legal challenges in several battleground states.

Here is how the world reacted to the news:

Sri Lanka

Mahinda Rajapaksa congratulated Biden and Harris on their victory and said he looks forward to strengthening their relationship to “benefit both our people”.


President Ashraf Ghani congratulated Biden and Harris, saying they look forward to “continuing/deepening” their strategic partnership with the United States “including in counterterrorism & bringing peace to Afghanistan”.


Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said it was too soon to congratulate Biden and he would wait for “all legal issues” in the US election to be resolved.

“We don’t want to be imprudent. We don’t want to act lightly and we want to respect people’s self-determination and rights,” Lopez Obrador, who has had good relations with Trump, told reporters.

South Korea

President Moon Jae-in tweeted: “Congratulations to @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris. Our alliance is strong and the bond between our two countries is rock-solid. I very much look forward to working with you for our shared values.”



President Joko Widodo expressed his “warmest congratulations” to Biden and Harris. He said: “The huge turnout is a reflection of the hope placed on democracy.”


Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said in a tweet that the US can count on Italy as a “solid ally and a strategic partner”.

“We are ready to work with the President-elect @JoeBiden to make the transatlantic relationship stronger. The US can count on Italy as a solid Ally and a strategic partner.”

El Salvador

President Nayib Bukele congratulated Biden and Vice President-elect Harris, adding “may our partnership continue, to grow every day”.


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated Biden and his running mate Harris on Twitter saying he looked forward to working with them to strengthen the “special alliance” between the two countries.

“We’ve had a long & warm personal relationship for nearly 40 years, and I know you as a great friend of Israel.”

In a tweet, he also thanked Trump for “the friendship”.


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau congratulated Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris, saying he was “really looking forward” to working with them.

“Our two countries are close friends, partners and allies,” he tweeted. “We share a relationship that’s unique on the world stage. I’m really looking forward to working together and building on that with you both.”

United Kingdom

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he looked forward to working with Biden and Harris on issues ranging from “climate change to trade and security”.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan congratulated the winners, adding it was time to “build bridges, not walls”.


Prime Minister Imran Khan said he looked forward to working with Biden on ending “illegal tax havens” and establishing peace in Afghanistan.

“Look forward to President Elect Biden’s Global Summit on Democracy & working with him to end illegal tax havens & stealth of nation’s wealth by corrupt ldrs. We will also continue to work with US for peace in Afghanistan and in the region,” he said on Twitter.


Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani congratulated Biden and Harris, saying he looked forward to continuing to strengthen the close relations between the two countries.

“Congratulations to President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris. My best wishes to the people of the United States and I look forward to working together to continue strengthening the friendship between our countries,” he wrote on Twitter.


Vice-President Eshagh Jahangiri said he hoped for a change in “destructive US policies” following Biden’s projected win.

“I hope we will see a change in the destructive policies of the United States, a return to the rule of law and international obligations and respect for nations,” Eshagh Jahangiri was quoted as saying by Iranian state media.

Iranians “stood their ground bravely until that coward left,” Hesameddin Ashena, an adviser to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, tweeted earlier.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said the “world is watching” to see if the new administration would “abandon disastrous lawless bullying of outgoing regime”.

Relations between Iran and the US have taken a turn for the worse since Trump in 2018 pulled Washington out of a major nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, and reimposed sanctions that have crippled the Iranian economy.


King Abdullah II congratulated Biden on winning the US presidential election, state media reported.

King of Jordan Abdullah II addresses the European Parliament in Strasbourg
Jordan’s King Abdullah has had a tense relationship with US President Donald Trump over his Middle East policy [File: Vincent Kessler/Reuters]



French President Emmanuel Macron also congratulated Biden for his projected win and said they had many challenges to face.

“The Americans have chosen their President. Congratulations Joe Biden and Kamala Harris! We have a lot to do to overcome today’s challenges. Let’s work together!” Macron said on Twitter.

Meanwhile, Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo tweeted: “Welcome back America”.

“While we are about to celebrate the 5th anniversary of the Paris Agreement, this victory symbolizes our need to act together more than ever, in view of climate emergency,” she added.


Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Biden for his “spectacular victory” and called the success of Harris, whose mother was born in India, a “pathbreaking” achievement.

Modi tweeted that as vice president under Barack Obama, Biden’s contribution to “strengthening Indo-US relations was critical and invaluable”.

“I look forward to working closely together once again to take India-US relations to greater heights,” he said.


Oman’s Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al Said congratulated Biden on winning the US presidential election, the state news agency reported.

Haitham bin Tariq sent a letter to Biden expressing “his sincere congratulations for winning the confidence of the American people and for his election as President of the upcoming presidential term”, the state news agency added.


Palestine Liberation Organization member and leader Hanan Ashrawi tweeted “America Detrumped!” following the declaration.

“The world also needs to be able to breathe,” she added.

“Trumpism must be carefully scrutinized and remedied to restore the human, moral & legal equilibrium within and beyond the US”.


In a congratulatory cable to Biden, Lebanese President Michel Aoun voiced hopes that the president-elect would “restore balance” in Lebanese-US ties, Lebanon’s state National News Agency reported.


Prime Minister Andrew Holness said Harris becoming Vice President-elect was a “monumental” achievement.

“America will have its first female Vice President in the person of Kamala Harris, and we are proud that she bears Jamaican heritage,” he said.

“Her ascension to this role is a monumental accomplishment for women all over the world and I salute her.”


Guatemala’s government congratulated Biden for winning the US presidential election and expressed its willingness to continue working with the US government.


Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok congratulated Biden and Harris “on behalf of the Sudanese people”.

“Looking forward to working closely with them both to continue building bridges of friendship and cooperation between our two nations and countries.” Hamdok tweeted.


President Muhammadu Buhari also congratulated Biden and called for “greater engagement with Africa”.

“Your election is a significant reminder that democracy is the best form of government because it offers the people the opportunity to change their government by peaceful means,” Buhari said in a statement. “The most powerful group are not the politicians, but voters who can decide the fate of candidates for elective office at the polling booth.”

Buhari said he looked forward to “enhanced cooperation between Nigeria and the United States, especially at economic, diplomatic and political levels, including especially on the war against terrorism”.

He also called on Biden “to promote greater engagement with Africa on the basis of reciprocal respects and common interests”.


Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez congratulated Biden in a Twitter post.

“The American people have chosen the 46th President of the United States. Congratulations @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris. We wish you good luck and all the best. We are looking forward to cooperating with you to tackle the challenges ahead of us,” he said.


German Chancellor Angela Merkel also congratulated Biden and Harris.

“I look forward to future cooperation with President Biden,” she said in a statement posted on Twitter. “Our transatlantic friendship is irreplaceable if we are to master the great challenges of our time.”

German Chancellor Merkel welcomes EC President von der Leyen before in Berlin
German Chancellor Angela Merkel [File: Odd Andersen/Pool/Reuters]


Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin said he took “pride in Joe Biden’s election”.

“I offer warmest congratulations to Joe Biden on his election as the 46th President of the United States. Ireland takes pride in Joe Biden’s election, just as we are proud of all the generations of Irish women and Irish men and their ancestors whose toil and genius have enriched the diversity that powers America,” he said on social media.


Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga congratulated Biden and Harris, saying he looked forward to working with the new administration to further strengthen the alliance between the two countries.

“I look forward to working with you to further strengthen the Japan-US Alliance and ensure peace, freedom and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond,” he tweeted.


Iraqi President also Barham Salih extended his congratulations to Biden.

“Joe Biden [is] a friend and trusted partner in the cause of building a better Iraq. We look forward to working to achieve our common goals and strengthening peace and stability in the entire Middle East,” Salih tweeted on Saturday.

European Union

European Union leaders Charles Michel and Ursula von der Leyen hailed Biden’s election, calling for stronger transatlantic ties.

“I warmly congratulate Mr Joe Biden on his victory in the US presidential election and look forward to meeting him at the earliest possible opportunity,” European Commission President von der Leyen said.

“The European Union and the United States are friends and allies, our citizens share the deepest of links,” she said.

European Commission''s president-designate Ursula von der Leyen
European Commission’s President Ursula von der Leyen [File: Yves Herman/Reuters]

Meanwhile, former European Council President Donald Tusk wrote on Twitter: “Trump’s defeat can be the beginning of the end of the triumph of far-right populisms also in Europe.”

United Arab Emirates

Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan congratulated Biden and Harris and expressed hopes for “further development and prosperity for the American people”

“Congratulations to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on winning the U.S. elections. Our sincere wishes for further development and prosperity for the American people. The UAE and USA are friends and allies with a strong historic partnership that we look forward to strengthening together,” the crown prince said in a tweet.


Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said Biden was a “true friend” of Greece and that relations between the two countries will become “stronger” under him.

“Congratulations to US President-Elect Joe Biden. Joe Biden has been a true friend of Greece and I’m certain that under his presidency the relationship between our countries will grow even stronger.”


NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg described Biden as a “strong supporter of our Alliance”.

Stoltenberg, who often had to adapt to President Donald Trump making unexpected announcements about US troop drawdowns from NATO deployments, said in a tweet that he looked forward to working with Biden.

“A strong NATO is good for both North America and Europe,” he said.

South Africa

President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Twitter that his government looked forward to “working with you [Biden] and deepening our bonds of friendship and cooperation”.


Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi, a key US ally, has said he “looks forward to joint cooperation and work to enhance strategic relations” between the two countries, state Egyptian television reports, citing a presidential spokesman.


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he was “optimistic” about the future partnership between his country and the US, adding the nations had always collaborated on issues like trade, investment and corruption.


Polish President Andrzej Duda congratulated Biden for running “a successful presidential campaign”.

Duda added that Poland, one of Washington’s closest allies under Trump, was determined to maintain a “high-level, high-quality … partnership” with the US.

Polish President and presidential candidate of the Law and Justice (PiS) party Andrzej Duda speaks after the announcement of the first exit poll results on the first round of presidential elections in
Polish President Andrzej Duda [File: Kacper Pempel/Reuters]


Alberto Fernandez, the president of Argentina, congratulated the people of the US on their record turnout, calling it a “clear expression of popular will”.

In a tweet, he also saluted Biden and noted Harris will become the first female president of the US.


Tsai Ing-wen, the president of Taiwan, congratulated Biden and Harris on their win, saying in a Twitter post: “The values on which we have built our relationship could not be stronger.”

She added: “I look fwd to working together to further our friendship, & contributions to int’l society.”


A spokesman for Rodrigo Duterte, the president of the Philippines, warmly congratulated Biden.

“On behalf of the Filipino nation, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte wishes to extend his warm congratulations to former Vice President Joseph ‘Joe’ Biden on his election as the new President of the United States of America,” said Harry Roque.


Martin Vizcarra, the president of Peru, said in a Twitter post: “We salute the massive turnout of the American people at the polls and congratulate @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris on their recent election. We will work to strengthen democracy, multilateralism, international cooperation and preserve the environment.”


Erna Solberg, the Norwegian prime minister, called the US her country’s “most important ally” and said the world needed “American leadership to solve major global challenges”.

She added: “We look forward to cooperating with the Biden administration at the United Nations Security Council, and in efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic and climate change.”


Chile’s President Sebastian Pinera highlighted shared values between his country and the US in his message of congratulations.

“Congratulations, @JoeBiden, President-elect of the United States, and Vice President @KamalaHarris, on this victory. Chile and USA share many values, such as freedom, the defense of human rights, and challenges like the commitment for peace & the protection of the environment.”


Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison wished Biden and Harris “every success”.

“The Australia-US Alliance is deep and enduring, and built on shared values. I look forward to working with you closely as we face the world’s many challenges together,” he said on Twitter.


President Nicolas Maduro congratulated Biden and Harris on social media commending them on their election victory.

“I congratulate the American people on the presidential election. I also congratulate President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on their victory,” Maduro wrote on Twitter.

New Zealand

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, a popular leader who had verbally jousted with Trump, congratulated Biden and Harris in a tweet focused on cooperation.

“With so many issues facing the international community, your message of unity is one we share. New Zealand looks forward to working with you both!”


Mario Abdo, the president of Paraguay, said in a tweet: “We extend our congratulations to the President-elect of the United States @JoeBiden. We wish him every success and reaffirm our commitment to continue strengthening bilateral relations based on our shared democratic principles and values.”


Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies