Social Democratic and Labour Party Leader Colum Eastwood MP has said that the new Biden/Harris administration will provide a moment of relief, hope and opportunity for people across the world but particularly in Ireland.
The Foyle MP said that exorcising the influence of the previous administration will take time but that the new President and Vice President will find friends and allies in Ireland.
Colum Eastwood MP said:
“It is no understatement to say that the swearing-in of President Biden and Vice President Harris feels like an immense weight is slowly being lifted off the world. The chilling influence of the last administration pervaded politics far beyond US borders, it gave confidence and comfort to racists, misogynists and the far right across the globe.
“The democratic rejection of that anti-truth movement in November was an important first step in a long process to repair the damage of the last four years. If anyone can take forward a project of national, and international, reconciliation at this scale, it’s an administration built on the character of people like President Joe Biden and Vice president Kamala Harris.
“We all need to reach out to those who have been taken in by the cynical populist politics of blame and recrimination. We can’t simply revile the leaders who made it happen, we are all challenged to reach out to the marginalised and the dispossessed in our own societies. We have to demonstrate the importance of our vision and values for this new decade.
“The unique bond of friendship and history that binds the people of Ireland and America together was always going to survive the strain of the last four years. I believe that the new administration offers us a moment of hope and opportunity to build on that important relationship to deliver for both our countries.
“I have already extended an invitation to the new President and Vice President to visit the North at the earliest opportunity. We have a lot to offer each other in the fight against the climate crisis, the resistance of far right populism, reconciling divided communities and sharing our experience of police reform. I am confident that we can forge a stronger relationship in the years ahead.”
SDLP Deputy Leader Nichola Mallon MLA added:
“I am delighted that we now have a US administration that recognises the seismic global challenges facing governments and people across the world.
“One of President Biden’s first actions will be to rejoin the Paris Accords committing his government to robust climate action. We can only deal with the climate crisis at a multilateral level and this decision will send a positive message to all of us invested in avoiding irreversible climate breakdown.
“I am looking forward to working with the new administration to maximise opportunities for people and communities across our island."