London, United Kingdom:
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Tuesday he spoke with Joe Biden after the Democrat’s victory in the US presidential election.
“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 speak to the new president.
“I look forward to strengthening the partnership between our countries and working with him on our common priorities – from tackling climate change, to promoting democracy and to rebuilding better after the pandemic.”
Johnson’s Downing Street office also said he “conveyed congratulations to Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on his historic achievement” during the 20-minute phone call.
They also discussed areas “such as trade and security – including across NATO”.
Johnson, whose country takes the rotating G7 presidency next year, has invited Biden to attend the UN’s COP26 climate change summit.
The summit was due to be held this week in the Scottish city of Glasgow but has been postponed until next November due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“They were also looking forward to seeing each other in person, especially when the UK hosts the G7 summit in 2021,” Downing Street added.
London is hoping that 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 earlier comments.
Biden, who has Irish roots, has spoken out on a British plan to roll back parts of the Brexit treaty he signed and which Democrats fear will jeopardize the peace in Northern Ireland.
The new president also described the populist Johnson as a “physical and emotional clone” of President Donald Trump.
Biden was Barack Obama’s vice president when the former Johnson newspaper columnist in 2016 wrote that the US president was anti-British because of his “part-Kenyan” heritage and his “ancestral aversion to the British Empire” .
Former Obama aide Tommy Vietor criticized Johnson’s congratulations to Biden after his victory was announced on Saturday.
“This shape-changing creep is weighing down,” Vietor tweeted. “We will never forget your racist comments on Obama and your slavish devotion to Trump, but crisp Instagram graphics.”
But in terms of politics, Britain is still much more aligned with Biden and his European allies on issues such as climate change, Iran, Russia and NATO defense.