By GUY DAVIES, ABC News
(LONDON) — World leaders are beginning to react to a “new dawn” in U.S. politics ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration as the 46th President of the United States at the Capitol in Washington, D.C. Wednesday.
Historic allies in the European Union and the U.K. have struck the most upbeat tone, with Ursurla von der Leyen, the president of the EU Commission, saying that they have a “friend in the White House” after four years where transatlantic relations have come under strain.
“This is a historical achievement and this also makes this day very special,” she said. “This new dawn in America is the moment we’ve been waiting for so long. Europe is ready for a new start with our oldest and most trusted partner.”
“This will be a very strong starting point for our renewed cooperation and of course, way more is to come,” she added.
The British Ambassador to the U.S., Dame Karen Pierce, said that the incoming Biden presidency was “very good news” for the U.K.
Charles Michel, the president of the European Council, said that the incoming presidency was an “opportunity to rejuvenate the Transatlantic relationship.”
“President-elect Biden already had a very good conversation with the prime minister where they covered a lot of things,” she said. “But one of the things they are both really focused on is COVID recovery. And how to make sure that recovery leads us to build back better in a greener way, a more sustainable way, but also a way that promotes open societies, promotes democratic values, helps us level up and is consistent with open markets.”
At the end of a Trump presidency when relations with Russia have often dominated the headlines, President Vladimir Putin is yet to react but the Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov phoned into a press briefing to say that he did not foresee a change in the U.S.-Russia relationship.
“Nothing will change for Russia. Russia will continue to live just the way it has lived for hundreds of years, seeking good relations with the U.S.,” he said. “Whether Washington has reciprocal political will for that will depend on Mr. Biden and his team.”
On a different note, incoming Vice President Kamala Harris’ ancestral village in India, where her mother’s family hail from, marked the day of the inauguration with special prayers and pictures of Harris displayed in public and celebrations.
Thulasendrapuram, a tiny village just over 200 miles from the city of Chennai, is where Harris’ maternal grandfather was born.
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