London, United Kingdom:
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday said he spoke to Joe Biden after the Democrat’s victory in the US presidential elections.
“Just spoke to @JoeBiden to congratulate him on his election,” Johnson wrote on his official Twitter account, making him one of the first world leaders to talk to the incoming president.
“I look forward to strengthening the partnership between our countries and to working with him on our shared priorities – from tackling climate change, to promoting democracy and building back better from the pandemic.”
Johnson’s Downing Street office also said that he “conveyed his congratulations to vice president-elect Kamala Harris on her historic achievement” during the 20-minute phone call.
They also discussed areas “such as trade and security – including through NATO”.
Johnson, whose country takes over the rotating presidency of the G7 next year, invited Biden to attend the UN’s COP26 climate change summit.
The summit had been due to be held this week in the Scottish city of Glasgow but has been postponed to next November because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“They also looked forward to seeing each other in person, including when the UK hosts the G7 Summit in 2021,” added Downing Street.
London is hoping to work to tackle climate change can thaw frosty relations between Johnson and Biden’s camp, which have been strained over Brexit and the prime minister’s past comments.
Biden, who has Irish roots, has spoken out at a British plan to override parts of the Brexit treaty it signed that Democrats fear could undermine peace in Northern Ireland.
The incoming president has also described the populist Johnson as a “physical and emotional clone” of President Donald Trump.
Biden was vice-president to Barack Obama when former newspaper columnist Johnson in 2016 wrote that the US president was anti-UK because of his “part-Kenyan” heritage and “ancestral dislike of the British Empire”.
Former Obama aide Tommy Vietor was critical of Johnson’s congratulations to Biden after his victory was announced on Saturday.
“This shapeshifting creep weighs in,” Vietor tweeted. “We will never forget your racist comments about Obama and slavish devotion to Trump but neat Instagram graphic.”
But in policy terms, Britain is still far more aligned with Biden and its European allies on issues such as climate change, Iran, Russia, and NATO defense.