Updated: 13:05 p.m E.T.
Even before Trump took the stage to declare his vision for America and its role in the world, the world was responding. As the billionaire businessman prepared to be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States Friday, reaction from around the globe had already begun.
The new president’s controversial comments about NATO, Israel, and China have left many world leaders unsettled, while his casual approach to diplomacy has taught the rest of the world that it would be foolish to try to predict his next move. His presidency has also been a source of excitement for some countries – with celebrations Thursday night in Russia, for example, after Trump has repeatedly heaped praise on its leader Vladimir Putin.
During the President Trump’s inauguration speech, he took a fairly isolationist approach, declaring that “From this date forward, a new vision will govern our land. From this day forward, it’s going to be only America first – America first.” Trump added: “We defended other nation’s borders while refusing to defend our own. And spent trillions and trillions of dollars overseas while America’s infrastructure has fallen into disrepair and decay.”
Immediately after Trump had finished his address, Pope Francis released a statement offering his good wishes, whilst highlighting the importance of “our human family” and imploring President Trump to look after the poor:
Canada was quick to offer congratulations to the new president, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau releasing a statement reaffirming the close U.S.-Canada relationship:
“We look forward to working with President Trump, the U.S. Administration, the 115th Congress, and officials at the state and local levels to restore prosperity to the middle class on both sides of the border, and to create a safer and more peaceful world.”
Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India, also offered his congratulations, tweeting:
In the U.K., Londoners protested Trump’s inauguration outside the U.S. Embassy, and one initiative had taken to bridges around the city, where protestors draped banners with messages such as “Bridges, not walls,” “Migrants welcome here,” “Migration is older than language” and “act now.”
Protests were seen in other parts of Europe, too. In Germany, activists from Greenpeace standing along the Berlin Wall displayed a message reading “Mr. President, walls divide. Build Bridges!”
German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, speaking to Der Spiegel, was cautious when asked about the new administration: “I don’t think a big trade war will break out tomorrow, but we will naturally insist that agreements are upheld.”
It is unclear how British Prime Minister Theresa May feels about President Trump’s inauguration, though it is certain she will wish to maintain the “special relationship” that the U.K. feels it has with the U.S. It was revealed on Friday that Trump had finally replied to the letter she sent before Christmas, but Downing Street confirmed that the billionaire businessman chose not to reciprocate the gift May had sent with her letter — a copy of a 1941 Winston Churchill speech.
The U.K foreign secretary was much quicker to respond to the inauguration however, congratulating both Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence:
Nigel Farage, the man many credit with leading the U.K out of the European Union (EU), attended the inauguration, and tweeted his pleasure at Trump’s speech:
In France, far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen appeared delighted, and said the inauguration of Trump “opens a new era of cooperation between nations.” She praised Trump while simultaneously firing shots at her critics, saying that Trump had done more in a single tweet than former French President Nicolas Sarkozy and incumbent François Hollande had accomplished in a decade.
Russia has been the source of huge controversy since Trump’s election victory, but on Friday Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on his Facebook page that “reason will prevail.” “We are ready to do our share of the work in order to improve the relationship,” he said.
President Vladimir Putin, however, was not expected to watch Trump’s inauguration, with a spokesman saying: “I do not think he plans to watch [Trump’s inauguration] online, as it is quite a time-taking ceremony.”
Trump’s comments about women and his pledge to “build a wall” between Mexico and the U.S. have left many across the globe worried about his future approach to women and immigrants.
Saturday will bring the Women’s March on Washington, where protesters are expected in the hundreds of thousands. Alongside the U.S. rally, women around the world will be holding their own versions in solidarity. Organizers expect 160 marches to take place in 60 countries around the world, in cities like London, Sydney, and even in Iraq.
This story will be updated with world reactions throughout the day.