- World leaders were quick to congratulate Biden and Harris after they were sworn in on Wednesday.
- Biden has pledged to "repair our alliances and engage with the world once again."
- Former President Donald Trump had a contentious relationship with traditional US allies.
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Leaders from across the globe congratulated President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris after they were sworn into office at Wednesday's inauguration ceremony.
During his inaugural address Biden directly addressed the global audience: "The world is watching, watching all of us today ... America has been tested, and we've come out stronger for it. We will repair our alliances and engage with the world once again."
And, he added, "We'll lead not merely by the example of our power but by the power of our example."
The world was indeed watching, as evidenced by the responses of many world leaders, some of whom expressed hope in the future of the US with Biden and Harris at the helm.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
—Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) January 20, 2021
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson
—Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) January 20, 2021
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi
—Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 20, 2021
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
—Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) January 20, 2021
President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen
—Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) January 20, 2021
The Trump administration often took a unilateral approach to foreign affairs, inducing tensions with allies and adversaries alike. Former President Donald Trump's decisions to withdraw the US from landmark pacts such as the Paris climate accord and 2015 Iran nuclear deal, for example, put him at odds with traditional allies in Europe. And his move to pull the US from the World Health Organization amid the COVID-19 pandemic was met with outcry and bewilderment.
The former president's generally antagonistic disposition toward the international community led America's global approval rating to plummet during his tenure compared to where it was under his most recent predecessors, according to Pew Research Center.
After the Capitol riot on January 6, which was provoked by Trump and led the ex-president to be impeached for a second time, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo abruptly cancelled a final trip to Europe because allies were reportedly too embarrassed to meet with him. World leaders such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel openly blamed Trump for the violent insurrection at the Capitol.
Meanwhile, polling from Pew released on Tuesday found that large majorities among crucial US allies such Germany (79%), France (72%), and the UK (65%) said they have confidence in Biden "to do the right thing in world affairs." Comparatively, Pew said ratings for Trump "were consistently negative in these three countries throughout his time in office."
Biden, whose long political career has largely been defined by a focus on foreign policy, has made repairing global alliances a key aspect of his agenda. He plans to return the US to the 2015 nuclear deal, the Paris climate accord, and the World Health Organization.