UPDATE 2-US. Allies welcome Biden as next president despite Trump refusing to concede

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* Germany, Canada, France among the first to react

* Canada and the United Kingdom mention climate change as a priority

* No immediate reaction from Russia, Israel (adds comments from India, Pakistan)

By Thomas Escritt, Michael Holden and David Ljunggren

BERLIN / LONDON / OTTAWA, Nov. 7 (Reuters) – Some of the United States’ biggest and closest allies were quick to congratulate Joe Biden on his presidential victory on Saturday even though Donald Trump, with whom many have been connected difficult, had not yet conceded.

Germany, Canada and France, which have had strained ties with the Trump administration despite being its G7 and NATO partners, were among the first to recognize Biden’s victory, few time after the big American TV stations declared it.

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

Merkel’s Finance Minister Olaf Scholz went further, suggesting that a Biden administration could mark a reset in transatlantic relations.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said he is eager to tackle the “world‘s greatest challenges” with the new administration, including climate change, an issue many countries have argued over with Trump.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has had a much more fluid relationship with Trump, also picked up on the theme of climate change in praising Biden.

“The United States is our most important ally and I look forward to working closely together on our common priorities, from climate change to trade and security.”

Washington officially resigned from the Paris agreement on limiting greenhouse gas emissions on Wednesday, honoring Trump’s pledge to remove the world‘s second-largest emitter from the pact. Biden has promised to join the deal if elected.

“The Americans have chosen their president,” tweeted French President Emmanuel Macron. “We have a lot to do to overcome the challenges of today. Let’s work together!”

Many leaders did not mention Trump, but Spain’s far-left Deputy Prime Minister Pablo Iglesias said his departure as president would leave the far-right in the world weakened.

“Trump is confirmed to have lost the election. This is good news for the planet, as the global far right is losing its most powerful political asset,” Iglesias tweeted.

IRISH AND INDIAN PRIDE

Ireland, where Biden traces his family roots, called him the 46th US president, though Trump accused Biden of “rushing to falsely pass himself off as the winner.” Trump complained of electoral fraud without providing evidence.

“Ireland is proud of the election of Joe Biden, just as we are proud of all generations of Irish and Irish and their ancestors whose work and genius enriched the diversity that fuels America.” Prime Minister Micheal Martin said in a statement.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi singled out Biden’s running mate Kamala Harris in his congratulatory tweet. Harris, whose mother emigrated from India, becomes the first woman, the first black American, and the first Asian American to win the second-highest U.S. vice president position.

“Your success is revolutionary and a matter of immense pride not only for your chittis but also for all Indo-Americans,” Modi wrote, using the Tamil word for “aunts” which Harris had used when she accepted. the vice-president of the Democratic Party. nomination.

Egypt, one of Washington’s greatest allies in the Middle East, also praised Biden, as did Lebanon, which has had strained relations with the United States.

On Friday, the Trump administration imposed sanctions on Gebran Bassil, head of Lebanon’s largest Christian political bloc and son-in-law of President Michel Aoun, accusing him of corruption and ties to the Shiite armed group Hezbollah.

Aoun said on Twitter that he hoped the balance in Lebanese-American relations would return under a Biden administration.

TRUMP ALLIES, RUSSIA MORE SAFE

Nations with closer ties to Trump were either quiet Saturday night or hesitant to proclaim Biden as president-elect.

Polish President Andrzej Duda praised Biden for leading “a successful presidential campaign” and said Poland would maintain a high-quality strategic partnership with Washington as “we await the nomination by the electoral college”.

Russia, however, made no immediate comment. U.S. intelligence officials accuse the Kremlin of intervening in the 2016 campaign to help Trump get elected – allegations he denies.

As the vote neared, President Vladimir Putin appeared to hedge his bets, frowning at Biden’s anti-Russian rhetoric but welcoming his comments on nuclear weapons control. Putin also defended Biden’s son Hunter against criticism from Trump.

The Israeli and Saudi governments, whose leaders are among Trump’s closest allies in the Middle East, were also silent.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made no immediate comment, and a photo of him and Trump remained at the top of the hawkish Israeli leader’s Facebook page (NASDAQ :). Prime Minister Imran Khan has said he looks forward to working with Biden to seek peace in neighboring Afghanistan.

The Trump administration has withdrawn US troops from Afghanistan as part of a deal with Taliban insurgents, which Kabul and its allies have long viewed as backed by Pakistan.

Latest news on the US presidential race

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