The Mercury News

The world hoping for renewed cooperatio­n under Biden


MEXICO CITY >> Leaders across the globe welcomed the arrival of U.S. President Joe Biden and the end of the often confrontat­ional presidency of Donald Trump, noting the world’s most pressing problems, including the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change, require multilater­al cooperatio­n, an approach Trump ridiculed.

Many expressed hope Wednesday that Biden would right the world’s largest democracy two weeks after they watched rioters storm the Capitol, shaking the faith of those fighting for democracy in their own countries.

Government­s targeted and sanctioned under Trump embraced the chance for a fresh start with Biden, while some heads of state who lauded Trump’s blend of nationalis­m and populism were more restrained in their expectatio­ns for the Biden administra­tion — and in some cases spoke nostalgica­lly of the Trump years.

But a chance to repair frayed alliances and work together to address problems extending beyond any one country’s borders carried the day.

Biden “understand­s the value and the importance of multilater­alism. He understand­s the importance of cooperatio­n among nations,” said former Colombian president and Nobel Peace Prize winner Juan Manuel Santos, who left office in 2018.

French President Emmanuel Macron also noted the urgency of addressing the perils the world faces from climate change after Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Paris climate accord, a move Biden was to reverse in the first hours of his presidency. Elsewhere in Europe, close U.S. allies finally saw a chance to come in out of the cold after strained security and economic relationsh­ips with the Trump administra­tion.

“This new dawn in America is the moment we’ve been awaiting for so long,” said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, hailing Biden’s arrival as “resounding proof that, once again after four long years, Europe has a friend in the White House.”

In Germany, President Frank-Walter Steinmeier issued a video statement, calling Biden’s inaugurati­on a “good day for democracy.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who formed close ties with Trump, noted a “warm personal friendship” with Biden. “I look forward to working with you to further strengthen the U.S.-Israel alliance” to continue expanding peace between Israel and the Arab world and to confront common challenges,” he said.

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