Boris Johnson 'looking forward' to working closely with Joe Biden

19 January 2021, 22:31 | Updated: 19 January 2021, 23:14

Boris Johnson has said he is looking forward to working with Joe Biden
Boris Johnson has said he is looking forward to working with Joe Biden. Picture: PA
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he is "looking forward" to working closely with President-elect Joe Biden ahead of Wednesday's inauguration.

The Democrat will be sworn in as the 46th president of the United States in Washington DC on Wednesday amid heightened security following the siege of the Capitol building by pro-Trump supporters on 6 January.

In a statement ahead of the quadrennial ceremony, Mr Johnson said he intended to work "hand in hand" with the incoming US leader on promoting the two countries' shared goals.

However, the prime minister is faced with shaking off suspicion from some influential Democrats who see him as a "Trump clone" - a description that he is keen to shed.

In his statement, the UK leader pointed to the continuing common interests the UK and the US share on defence, security and "defending democracy".

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He also highlighted Britain's upcoming role in chairing the G7 summit in Cornwall and the Cop26 climate change conference in Glasgow - both priorities for the new administration, as the world recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Johnson said: "I warmly congratulate Joe Biden on his historic inauguration as 46th president of the United States and look forward to working closely with his new administration as we defeat Covid and build back better from the pandemic.

"In our fight against Covid and across climate change, defence, security and in promoting and defending democracy, our goals are the same and our nations will work hand in hand to achieve them.

"I look forward to welcoming him to Carbis Bay for the G7 and Glasgow for Cop as we join forces to protect our planet.

"Only through international cooperation can we truly overcome the shared challenges which we face."

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It comes after Donald Trump insisted during his farewell address that his political movement "is only just beginning".

The outgoing US leader delivered a video message to the nation ahead of leaving the Oval Office on Wednesday, during which he prayed for the new administration but failed to mention his successor by name.

Mr Trump said he "took on the tough battles, the hardest fights and the most difficult choices" during his presidency, " because that’s what you (the American people) elected me to do".

However, in light of ramped up security in Washington DC ahead of President-elect Biden's inauguration, he also condemned the siege of the US Capitol by his supporters.

He said: "Political violence is an attack on everything we cherish as Americans. It can never be tolerated."