Monday, October 25

Two months after arriving at the White House, Biden and Sánchez still have not spoken

On January 20, Joe Biden became the 46th president of the United States and in much of the world, especially in Europe, one breathed with relief after four years of Donald Trump’s mandate. As well the Spanish Government, with its president Pedro Sanchez at the helm, he expressed his hope that the arrival of the Democrat would usher in a new era in relations.

Nevertheless, two months later, the formal phone call between the new US president and Sánchez still has not occurred. The two also did not speak in the weeks following Biden’s victory in the November 3 election, as other world leaders did.

To date, the only notable contact has been that maintained by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, EU and Cooperation, Arancha González Laya, with the Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, on February 16. This call came after the head of US diplomacy had already spoken with some thirty ministers.

As well Biden has spoken with a good number of leaders in these months, Although it is true that the pace at which it has done so has been slower than that of its predecessors, since it has focused mainly on the management of the pandemic and its economic consequences, since the United States is the country most punished by the COVID-19.

The new tenant of the White House has had a first contact with the main allies of the United States in the five continents, although in this list, in addition to the Spanish president, it is also noteworthy that he has not spoken with the prime minister of Italy – his partner in the G7 – although in these two months there has been a change in the transalpine government and Mario Draghi arrived in charge on February 13.

In 2017, after the arrival of Donald Trump to the White House, the first formal contact with the then Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, took place on February 7. However, both had previously spoken in December 2016, after the Republican won the elections.

Canada and Mexico

Biden began his round of calls with international leaders as marks the tradition speaking with the Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, on January 22, while with the president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, he spoke on the 23rd.

The first contact outside the American continent occurred that same day, the recipient of the call being British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, whose country is one of the main allies of the United States.

The turn for the first leader within the EU was for French President Emmanuel Macron already on January 24, while the following day Biden spoke with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. They were followed by Russian President Vladimir Putin, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.

After a few days without new contacts, On February 3, the new president spoke with the president of South Korea, Moon Jae In, and with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. The next call was to the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, on February 8, while the first contact with Chinese President Xi Jinping took place on February 10, highly anticipated considering the tense relationship maintained by his predecessor with Beijing.

The first call to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with whom Trump maintained a very close relationship and who was the architect of the peace agreements with several Arab countries, did not arrive until February 17.

Call drip

The trickle of calls continued on February 23, with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al Kadhimi, and that same day Biden also held a bilateral telematics summit with his Canadian counterpart.

On February 25, he had the opportunity to speak with the King of Saudi Arabia, an important ally in the Gulf and with whom Trump had a close relationship, as well as with the President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, the first African president.

The month of March started with a summit with Mexico, albeit via telematics, and on the 4th Biden spoke with the president of Guatemala, Alejandro Giammattei, the first Ibero-American president with whom he contacted outside the Mexican president, although he sent a letter to the president of Colombia, Iván Duque at the end of February.

The turn of the president of the European Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen, did not arrive until March 5, despite the fact that Brussels had repeatedly expressed the desire to relaunch the upsetting relationship after the distancing registered under the mandate of Trump.

After a virtual summit for four with the presidents of Japan, India and Australia on March 12, his last contact was with the Irish Prime Minister, Micheal Martin, with whom he had a telematic meeting on March 17, coinciding with Saint Patrick, the patron of Ireland.

Biden had already spoken with several international leaders, although not with Sánchez, after learning of his victory in the November 3 elections. Thus, on November 10, he spoke with Merkel, Macron and Johnson, who were followed on successive days by the Prime Minister of Australia, the Japanese and the South Korean president.

Then it was the turn of Pope Francis and later the then Italian Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, on the 13th. The former Vice President also had the opportunity to speak with the President of the European Commission and the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, on the 23rd. of November.

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