PM to forge great partnership with Biden

Colin Brinsden
·3-min read

Scott Morrison has congratulated Joe Biden for his success in clinching the US presidential election, calling him a great friend of Australia over many years.

The prime minister also extended his congratulations to Kamala Harris on her election as Vice President of the United States.

"I look forward to forging a great partnership in the spirit of the relationship that has always existed between prime ministers of Australia and presidents of the United States." Mr Morrison told reporters in Sydney at Kirribilli House on Sunday.

"The Australia-US Alliance is enduring and built on shared democratic values such as the international rule of law, respect for human rights and equality, freedom of religion and belief, freedom of expression and diversity of opinion."

President-elect Biden has been declared the 46th President on US networks, but outgoing President Donald Trump has yet to concede defeat and will mount a series of legal challenges on Monday.

Mr Morrison said the relationship between the two countries was bigger than any one individual and that democracy is proven, not just in the "times of still waters but when the waters can get choppy".

"Of course we have seen that in recent times in the United States but democracy is the process they have always stood by to resolve such differences," he said.

Labor leader Anthony Albanese also congratulated the president-elect and his running mate, calling it an "extraordinary victory".

"They have a big challenge ahead to unite the United States once again, to overcome the challenge that the world is dealing with with the global COVID-19 pandemic," he told reporters in Sydney.

While President Trump is proving defiant in his loss, US Ambassador Arthur Sinodinos said Australia is taking the position that the election has been called.

"The president has the right to contest this in the courts, but we, the UK, New Zealand, Canada, India, France, Germany and others have taken a view based on the information that's been provided by the networks and others who have called it that this is the case," he told ABC television's Insiders program.

Former Liberal prime minister Malcolm Turnbull said it will be a "relief" to have a return to "normal transmission" with President-elect Biden.

"An administration that is going to be consistent, that isn't going to be making decisions by wild Tweets in the early hours of the morning, that isn't going to be walking out of global treaties and alliances," he told Insiders

"Four years of Trump have been a very, very disruptive period,."

Former Labor prime minister Kevin Rudd told Insiders that President Trump needs to "put on his big boy pants ... and act like a grown-up in this period of transition".

But Mr Morrison thanked President Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for their contribution to the Australia-US relationship.

"Australia has enjoyed a strong working relationship with the current administration, one that has seen the strength of our alliance continue to grow and deepen," Mr Morrison said.

"We will continue to work closely with President Trump and his administration in the transition period between now and 20 January."

Mr Morrison said the world faces many challenges, including managing the COVID-19 pandemic, on both a health and economic front, while ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific region, and peace and stability.

"American leadership is indispensable to meeting these challenges and upholding the rules, norms and standards of our international community," Mr Morrison said.