Are US allies relieved to see end of Trump era? Angela Merkel and others look forward to Joe Biden's presidency

Leaders like Emmanuel Macron, Boris Johnson and Justin Trudeau reportedly breathed a sigh of relief


                            Are US allies relieved to see end of Trump era? Angela Merkel and others look forward to Joe Biden's presidency
President Joe Biden and former president Donald Trump with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron (Getty Images)

In times of Donald Trump as the president, the US’s relationship with its time-tested allies in Europe plummeted. Even as he expressed his admiration for leaders like Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping and even North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, the former president never cared to improve relations with the leaders of some of the world’s frontline democracies like the UK, Germany and France. With his departure, it seems the leaders of those nations breathed a sigh of relief. 

Leaders from across the world, including the British Queen and the Pope, congratulated Joe Biden as the latter took oath as the 46th president on Wednesday, January 20, ending four tumultuous years of Trump at the White House. While the Queen’s message for Biden was kept secret, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called the development in the trans-Atlantic ally as a “step forward”. Relations between the US and the UK, the two oldest allies on the planet, also witnessed a hard time under the Trump presidency. 

Merkel, Macron, EU leaders feel relieved

A similar tone was heard from across the English channel. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron also reacted to Biden’s inauguration besides America’s other allies in the US who viewed the previous president as an aberration. Merkel, a liberal leader who Trump snubbed during his tenure, said she was looking forward to a new chapter to German-American friendship and cooperation. Macron did not waste the moment to take an indirect dig at Trump over his decision to withdraw the US from the Paris climate deal in 2017. “Welcome back to the Paris Agreement,” he said. Biden moved to take the US back into the key deal just hours after taking oath as the commander-in-chief.

Former president Donald Trump with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (Getty Images)

 

Ursula von der Leyen, chief of the European Commission, called the moment as something that they had been waiting for. “This new dawn in America is the moment we've been awaiting for so long,” she said. European Council President Charles Michel said clearly that trans-Atlantic relations “greatly suffered in the last four years”. “We have our differences and they will not magically disappear. America seems to have changed, and how it's perceived in Europe and the rest of the world has also changed,” Michael, one of the vocal critics of Trump, added.

Pope Francis appealed to Biden, a devout Catholic, to try to bring reconciliation in the US, which has seen deep social and political divisions in recent times. He urged the new president to build a society “marked by authentic justice and freedom”. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, another world leader with whom Trump did not share the best of terms, also sought unity to “promote inclusion and diversity”. He said he committed to working with the Biden administration to see that the two giant neighbors saw financial prosperity even while stressing on the need for unity in times of the pandemic.