Boris Johnson wins UK PM race: World reacts

Leaders around the world have congratulated incoming British leader Boris Johnson following his election as leader of the ruling Conservative Party. 

The hard-line Brexiteer, a former foreign secretary and mayor of London, is set to succeed Theresa May as prime minister on Wednesday.

In a Twitter post on Tuesday, US President Donald Trump hailed Johnson’s win, saying: “He will be great.”

Trump publicly endorsed Johnson in the race to succeed May in an interview ahead of a visit to the United Kingdom last month.

Iran’s Foreign Minister  Mohammad Javad Zarif congratulated his “former counterpart” while warning Britain his country will “protect” Gulf waters

“Iran does not seek confrontation,” Zarif wrote on Twitter amid a standoff between the two countries over the seizure of oil tankers.

“But we have 1,500 miles of Persian Gulf coastline. These are our waters and we will protect them.”

Boris Johnson vows to ‘get Brexit done’ as he wins UK PM race

Focus on Brexit

European Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen said Tuesday she was looking forward to a good working relationship with Johnson.

With Britain scheduled to leave the European Union on October 31, von der Leyen said: “We have the duty to deliver something which is good for the people of Europe and the United Kingdom.”

French President Emmanuel Macron, hosting von der Leyen on her first visit to an EU country since her recent election, said he wants to work “as quickly as possible” with Johnson, not just on European issues but on Iran and international security, subjects in which France is closely linked to Britain and Germany.

Also welcoming Johnson, the European Union’s Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said the bloc was ready to work with the incoming British prime minister for an orderly Brexit.

“We look forward to working constructively with PM Johnson when he takes office, to facilitate the ratification of the withdrawal agreement and achieve an orderly Brexit,” Barnier said on Twitter.

“We are ready also to rework the agreed declaration on a new partnership,” he added, referring to the political declaration that accompanies the withdrawal agreement.

‘Cheap promises’

In his victory speech, Johnson said the mantra of his leadership campaign had been to “deliver Brexit, unite the country and defeat [opposition Labour leader] Jeremy Corbyn – and that is what we are going to do”.

Following Johnson’s win, Frans Timmermans, the European Commission’s first vice president, told reporters in Brussels the EU would not renegotiate.

‘No-deal’ Brexit dealt blow by UK parliament

“He [Johnson] took a long time deciding whether he was for or against Brexit and now his position is clear,” Timmermans said.

“I think the position of the EU is also clear: the United Kingdom reached an agreement with the European Union and the European Union will stick with that agreement. We will hear what the new prime minister has to say when he comes to Brussels.”

Another EU commissioner, Vytenis Andriukaitis, also warned politicians such as Johnson were undermining democracy with “cheap promises, simplified visions, blatantly evident incorrect statements”.

The bloc has said since last year it would not re-open talks on the withdrawal agreement struck by May, which was rejected by MPs three times.

Johnson has said Britain will leave the EU on the scheduled October 31 deadline even if there is no divorce deal in place.

A number of Conservative Party ministers have already announced they will resign to fight against a so-called “no-deal” Brexit, which experts warn would push the UK’s economy into a severe downturn.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he believes Turkish-British ties will flourish under Johnson’s term as prime minister.

Erdogan wished Johnson success in his new job and added: “I believe that the Turkey-United Kingdom relations will flourish even more during this new era.”

Johnson, who has part Turkish ancestry, received a warm welcome in Turkey in 2016 when he visited as foreign secretary – despite the fact he based his Brexit campaign on the possibility of Turkey joining the EU and millions of Turks entering Britain. He has also composed an offensive poem about Erdogan.

SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies

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