Nicola Sturgeon wants return of US global role under Joe Biden

Nicola Sturgeon is hoping that Joe Biden's victory in the US Presidential election will herald the return of America's leadership role in global affairs.

Joe Biden won the US Presidential election
Joe Biden won the US Presidential election

The First Minister described the US election outcome as "momentous" for the wider world and wished the President-elect and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris well.

The SNP leader had been a long-term critic of Donald Trump and had made it clear she was hoping for a Democrat victory in the election.

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Addressing the daily coronavirus briefing today, she said: "It's the first time I've had the opportunity to do so to camera, to warmly congratulate President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris on their success.

"I think it's a significant moment for America obviously and for the world and I wish them well.

"I don't think there's any doubt that absolutely at the top of their priority list is America's response to Covid and I think if you look at cases and the trajectory of cases across much of America right now that will be a huge focus.

“As we know, America often has the potential to play a leadership role in the broader world and I hope that the election heralds a new era of multi-lateral co-operation in the challenges that the globe faces from Covid-19 through to climate change and a lot else besides."

Under Mr Trump, the US has withdrawn from the Paris Agreement on meeting climate change emissions, although the incoming president had pledged to reverse this. The incumbent has also pulled out of the World Health Organisation (WHO) after hitting out at its handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Ms Sturgeon’s acknowledgement of the Biden victory comes as some world leaders adopt a more cautious approach, with Mr Trump threatening legal action to challenge the result amid unfounded claims of voter fraud.

But Ms Sturgeon is no fan of the current president. As votes were still being count on Friday, without a winner declared, Ms Sturgeon told reporters after the British Irish Council summit: “I'm not sure anyone would be greatly surprised to hear my preference for how the votes will fall.”

Scotland’s Deputy First Minister John Swinney has also congratulated the new president.

"Warmest congratulations from Scotland to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on their historic and welcome victory,” he said.

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