The reactions ranged from offerings of congratulations, pitting their countries and economies to the forefront of Biden’s foreign policy agenda, and in some cases, taking a swipe at the administration of former President Donald Trump.
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted his congratulations to Biden and to Harris “on her historic inauguration.”
“America’s leadership is vital on the issues that matter to us all, from climate change to COVID, and I look forward to working with President Biden,” Johnson wrote.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wrote, “I look forward to working with President Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, their administration, and the United States Congress as we strive to make our countries safer, more prosperous, and more resilient.”
In a statement, the Canadian leader said he would work with the United States to “advance climate action and clean economic growth, promote inclusion and diversity.”
In a series of tweets, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Biden and Harris.
Modi said he is looking forward to interacting with Harris, who is the daughter of an Indian mother and a Jamaican father.
On the heels of the U.S. presidential election, Modi said her “success is pathbreaking” and of immense pride for all Indian-Americans.
Chinese Ambassador to the U.S. Cui Tiankai also sounded upbeat in a congratulatory tweet to the new U.S. president.
“China looks forward to working with the new administration to promote sound & steady development of China-U.S. relations and jointly address global challenges in public health, climate change & growth,” wrote Cui.
Shortly after Biden was sworn in, China slapped sanctions on several Trump administration officials including former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former national security advisor Robert O’Brien and former trade advisor Peter Navarro.
Meanwhile, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen wished the new U.S. administration “every success” and said the island “stands ready to work with you as a global force for good.”
Taiwan is among the issues at the center of worsening U.S.-China relations. Beijing claims the democratic and self-ruled island as a territory that must one day be reunited with the mainland, so Taiwan has no right to conduct international diplomacy of its own.
French President Emmanuel Macron congratulated the new administration and welcomed the United States back to the Paris Agreement.
Biden signed more than a dozen executive orders from the Oval Office including rejoining the international treaty on climate change.
Over in Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel, in a statement tweeted by government spokesman Steffen Seibert, described Biden’s and Harris’ inauguration as “a true celebration of American democracy.”
Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, also mentioned the U.S. rejoining the Paris Agreement. She said that the move will be “a very strong starting point for our renewed cooperation.”
“This new dawn in America is the moment we have been waiting for so long. Europe is ready for a new start with our oldest and most trusted partner,” von der Leyen said in a video she posted on Twitter.
Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu, in a video he tweeted, said he and Biden shared “a warm personal friendship going back many decades.”
In addition to congratulating Biden and Harris, Netanyahu said he looked forward to strengthening U.S.-Israel ties to “continue expanding peace between Israel and the Arab world and to confront common challenges, chief among them the threat posed by Iran.”
Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif slammed the Trump administration, which authorized an airstrike that killed top Iranian commander General Qasem Soleimani.
A statement by Iraqi President Barham Salih to congratulate Biden and Harris also highlighted challenges presented by terrorism and extremism.
“It is in our common interest to confront them. We also welcome the opportunity to work closely with the United States to ease regional tensions and promote peace and stability in the Middle East,” the president said.
Religious leaders also chipped in.
In a statement issued by the Vatican Press Office, Pope Francis said: “I pray that your decisions will be guided by a concern for building a society marked by authentic justice and freedom, together with unfailing respect for the rights and dignity of every person, especially the poor, the vulnerable and those who have no voice.”
The Dalai Lama, meanwhile, said in a tweet that he’s pleased Biden “is giving high priority to the urgent issue of climate change.”
Yen Nee Lee reported from Singapore and Amanda Macias from Washington.