How world leaders reacted to Joe Biden's inauguration

World leaders have welcomed the inauguration of new US President Joe Biden, with some condemning former President Donald Trump in their statements.

Biden and his vice President Kamala Harris were sworn in at the Capitol building in Washington DC on Thursday morning (NZ time) and are expected to lead the country in a new direction after the controversial Trump administration.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson reacted to their inauguration in Parliament.

"I look forward to working with him and with his new administration, strengthening the partnership between our countries and working on our shared priorities: from tackling climate change, building back better from the pandemic and strengthening our transatlantic security," he said.

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern congratulated Biden in a statement.

"I look forward to building a close relationship with President Biden and working with him on issues that matter to both our countries," she said.

"New Zealand and the United States have shared interests in addressing global challenges including climate change, the COVID-19 economic recovery, and the security, prosperity and sustainability of the Indo-Pacific and Pacific Island regions. We have a common investment in the international rules-based order and I welcome President Biden's intentions for the US to re-join the Paris Agreement and halt its withdrawal from the World Health Organization.

"President Biden is a good friend of New Zealand, and we have fond memories of his 2016 visit to our shores. Under his presidency the strong and close relationship that New Zealand enjoys with the United States will continue to develop and flourish.

"President Biden's message of unity as he takes office is one that resonates with New Zealanders and, on behalf of New Zealand, I wish him well as he begins his presidency."

Jacinda Ardern.
Jacinda Ardern. Photo credit: Getty

In a tweet on Thursday, European Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen said "The United States is back".

"Europe stands ready. To reconnect with an old and trusted partner, to breathe new life into our cherished alliance. I look forward to working together with @JoeBiden."

She went on to tell MEPs that "this new dawn in America is the moment we've been waiting for so long", the Guardian reported.

"Once again, after four long years, Europe has a friend in the White House."

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau put out a statement saying his country and the US "will continue this partnership as we fight the global COVID-19 pandemic and support a sustainable economic recovery that will build back better for everyone".

"We will also work together to advance climate action and clean economic growth, promote inclusion and diversity, and create good middle class jobs and opportunities for our people while contributing to democracy, peace, and security at home and around the world."

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier released a video statement echoing Biden's comment that it was "a good day for democracy".

"In the United States of America, it has faced tremendous challenges and endured. Despite the attempts to tear at America's institutional fabric, election workers and governors, the judiciary and Congress, have proven strong. I am greatly relieved that, today, Joe Biden is being sworn in as president and will be moving into the White House. I know many people in Germany share this feeling."

At a public event in Spain, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez criticised former President Donald Trump and his supporters, who stormed the Capitol just over two weeks ago in an attempt to disrupt the certification of Biden's victory.

"The victory of Biden represents the victory of democracy over the ultra-right and its three methods, the massive deception, the national division and the abuse, even violent, of democratic institutions," he said.

"Five years ago, we thought Trump was a bad joke, but five years later we realised he jeopardised nothing less than the world's most powerful democracy."

Palestinian Islamist Group Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum agreed there were "no regrets at the departure of Trump".

"He has been the biggest source and sponsor of injustice, violence and extremism in the world and the direct partner of the Israeli occupation in the aggression against our people

"US President Joe Biden must reverse the course of misguided and unjust policies against our people and lay the foundations for security and stability in the region."

However Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte remained diplomatic, telling Parliament on Tuesday that they are "looking forward to the Biden presidency".

"We will start working immediately in view of our presidency of the G20. We have a strong common agenda, ranging from the effective multilateralism that we both want to see, to climate change, green and digital transition and social inclusion."

In Russia, former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev called on the country's governments to repair their ties, the Guardian reported.

"The current condition of relations is of great concern," he said. "But this also means that something has to be done about it in order to normalise relations. We cannot fence ourselves off from each other."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated the new administration in a statement.

"President Biden, you and I have had a warm personal friendship going back many decades. I look forward to working with you to further strengthen the US-Israel alliance, to continue expanding peace between Israel and the Arab world, and to confront common challenges, chief among them the threat posed by Iran."

Netanyahu's office later released a separate statement on Trump.

"President Trump, thank you for all the great things you have done for Israel, especially your historic recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital and bringing four peace agreements between Israel and the Arab world."

Reuters/ Newshub