Boris Johnson aiming for close ties with Biden

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves Downing Street in London, Britain January 13, 2021. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister said he looked forward to working closely with Joe Biden after his inauguration on Wednesday as U.S. president, highlighting the shared interests of the two close allies.

Johnson has never met Biden and was once called "Britain Trump" by outgoing president Donald Trump who lavished praise on him, so commentators have suggested he will have to work hard to foster the so-called special relationship between Britain and the United States.

"I warmly congratulate Joe Biden on his historic inauguration as 46th President of the United States and look forward to working closely with his new administration as we defeat COVID and build back better from the pandemic," Johnson said in a statement issued late on Tuesday.

"In our fight against COVID and across climate change, defence, security and in promoting and defending democracy, our goals are the same and our nations will work hand in hand to achieve them."

He said he looked forward to Biden visiting Britain this year for a G7 meeting and for the United Nations COP26 summit on climate change, an issue on which he hopes the two will share much common ground.

(Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Howard Goller)

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