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Gasia Ohanes

Arab leaders congratulate Biden, Harris on US presidential election win

Some of Trump's closest allies congratulated Biden on winning the US presidential elections. [Getty]

Date of publication: 8 November, 2020

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Leaders of the UAE, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, Yemen, Palestine, Sudan, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Libya congratulated Biden, while Saudi Arabia and Syria have not yet released statements.
Leaders of the Arab world congratulated US presidential election winner Joseph Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris over the weekend, after the presidential race was officially called by major media outlets.

Many of the leaders – particularly in the Gulf – have had good relations with President Donald Trump, who has taken a tough stance against Iran through his 'maximum pressure' policy. Despite this, they all congratulated Biden for the victory over Trump, excluding the leaders of Saudi Arabia.

Below are the statements from Arab leaders that were reported by official news agencies and posted on social media.

United Arab Emirates

Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, Mohammed Bin Zayed, wrote on Twitter:

"Congratulations to @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris on winning the US elections. Our sincere wishes for further development and prosperity for the American people. The UAE and USA are friends and allies with a strong historic partnership that we look forward to strengthening together."

Vice President Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, also premier and ruler of Dubai, took to Twitter to express congratulatory remarks.

"Congratulations to the President-Elect of the United States Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris. We look forward to strengthening our five-decade enduring and strategic relations," the UAE VP wrote.

Bahrain

Bahrain took a more old-school approach, sending a congratulatory cable to President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris.

The state-run Bahrain News Agency said Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and the First Deputy Prime Minister of Bahrain, sent a congratulatory cable highlighting "the longstanding and historic partnership" between the two countries.

Oman

Oman's sultan Haitham bin Tariq al-Said wrote a letter expressing his "sincere congratulations" to Biden for "gaining the confidence of the American people".

The Sultan also wished the President-elect "success in leading the friendly American people towards further progress and welfare," the gulf country's state-run state news agency reported.

Kuwait

Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Nawaf Al Ahmed Al Sabah, congratulated both Biden and Harris – set to become the first woman, first black person and first person of Indian descent to be elected to the position – on the win in a cable sent out on Saturday, the state-run KUNA news agency reported.

In the cable, Sheikh Nawaf praised the "historic and strong relationship" between countries.

Qatar

Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani took to Twitter to congratulate Biden and Harris and expressed willingness for continued cooperation between the two countries.

"Congratulations to President-Elect @JoeBiden and Vice President-Elect @KamalaHarris. My best wishes to the people of the United States and I look forward to working together to continue strengthening the friendship between our countries," he said in a tweet.

Yemen

The President of Yemen's internationally recognised government, Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi, sent a telegram congratulating Biden for the win and expressing willingness to strenghten bilateral ties, a presidential statement said.

Hadi wished Biden "good health and happiness" and hoped the government and people of the US would have "progress and prosperity" under the new administration.

Palestine

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas congratulated Biden, hinting at renewed relations with the White House.

"I congratulate President-elect Joe Biden on his victory as President of the United States of America for the coming period," Abbas said in a statement issued on Sunday from his West Bank office.

Abbas boycotted dealings with President Donald Trump's administration after Trump recognised Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state in 2017.

Read also: Mideast heads for policy revamp under Biden

"I look forward to working with the President-elect and his administration to strengthen the Palestinian-American relations and to achieve freedom, independence, justice and dignity for our people," Abbas said in the statement.

Sudan

Sudan's premier Abdalla Hamdok on Sunday congratulated Biden and Harris "on behalf of the Sudanese people".

In a tweet, Hamdok said he is looking forward to working closely with them both to continue building bridges of friendship and cooperation".

Egypt

Despite recent warnings that US-Egyptian relations would sour under Biden, Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi congratulated the democrat president-elect on Saturday according to a statement released by presidential spokesman Bassam Radi.

"The President looks forward to joint cooperation and work to enhance strategic relations between Egypt and the United States, in the interest of the two friendly countries and peoples," the statement said.

Last month, a letter signed by democrat US lawmakers signaled that Sisi's rights violation 'will not be tolerated' if Biden won the presidency, warning of a tougher foreign policy stance against the north African country.

Lebanon

Lebanese President Michel Aoun – whose son-in-law and former Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil recently got sanctioned by the Trump administration – wrote to Biden congratulating him for winning the presidential election.

Aoun also expressed "hope" that Biden's term will "restore balance in Lebanese-American relations", according to a tweet by the Lebanese Presidency.

Jordan

Jordan's King Abdullah II on Saturday tweeted a photo of him with Biden, congratulating him on winning the electoral race.

"I look forward to working with you on further advancing the solid historic partnership between Jordan and the United States, in the interest of our shared objectives of peace, stability and prosperity," he wrote.

Iraq

Iraq's President Barham Salih extended his congratulations to Biden, calling the new President-elect a "friend" and a "trusted partner" of Iraq.

"I extend warmest congratulations to President-elect
@JoeBiden, a friend and trusted partner in the cause of building a better Iraq. We look forward to working to achieve our common goals and strengthening peace and stability in the entire Middle East," Salih said in a tweet on Saturday.

Libya

The head of Libya's Government of National Accord (GNA), Fayez al-Sarraj, on Saturday congratulated Biden and Harris, according to a statement released by Foreign Ministry  Spokesperson Mohamed Al-Giblawi.

Al-Sarraj said he hopes to work with Biden and Harris "to achieve a democratic civil state in Libya".

Saudi Arabia, Syria, Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco did not release public congratulatory statements at the time of publishing.

Read also: What a Biden presidency could mean for the Middle East

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