It seemed as though the whole world was watching as President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were sworn into office on Wednesday, taking the Oath of Office just before noon. The inauguration ceremony was held at the U.S. Capitol, a historic ceremony that dates back to 1789 (and was held regularly at the Capitol since 1801). But due to the COVID-19 pandemic and security concerns in the aftermath of January 6, the National Mall was closed to visitors this year. Instead, nearly 200,000 American flags filled the National Mall, representing those who could not physically attend Inauguration Day this year.
A small audience - including a number of foreign ambassadors to the US - was able to watch the inauguration from the grounds of the Capitol building. German Ambassador Emily Haber was in attendance and expressed her heartfelt congratulations to the new administration, which she looks forward to working with in the years to come.
“History is made! Congratulations to the 46th President of the United States Joe Biden, and the 49th Vice President Kamala Harris," the Ambassador wrote. "Let's get to work on our common interests; there's nothing the USA can't do, especially when paired with committed partners like Germany and the EU!”
Meanwhile, world leaders extended their congratulations from afar.
"Warmest congratulations on your inauguration, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris - a true celebration of American democracy," said German Chancellor Angela Merkel. " I look forward to a new chapter of German-American friendship and cooperation."
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas also congratulated the new president and emphasized the need to work together on international challenges such as climate change, migration, digitalization and globalization.
The transition of power has also instilled feelings of optimism among the German population. According to a survey by Pew Research, 84 percent of Germans "expect bilateral relations to improve" under President Biden, who has pledged to revive American alliances and relationships abroad.
In this week's newsletter, you'll find articles highlighting the agenda of the German Foreign Office for the year ahead. Enjoy!
Webteam, German Embassy
germanyinusa (at) gmail (dot) com