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"Call me some time." Photo: Giuseppe Ciccia/NurPhoto via Getty

One ritual of becoming president-elect is the carousel of congratulatory phone calls with other world leaders.

What to watch: The order in which the calls are returned is watched closely around the world.

  • On Monday Nov. 9, Biden began with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada. Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador might have been next — but he has declined to congratulate Biden.
  • The following day, Biden moved on to European allies: French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martin.
  • That Wednesday, Biden moved to the Asia-Pacific: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
  • On Thursday, Biden (who will be America’s second Catholic president) talked with Pope Francis. He spoke with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte the following day.

Biden resumed the calls this Tuesday, abandoning the regional approach from the week prior.

  • He called both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli President Reuven Rivlin. President Trump, by contrast, spoke only with Netanyahu.
  • Biden also called Chilean President Sebastián Piñera, Indian President Narendra Modi and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Between the lines: Biden has now spoke to the leaders of 14 countries, all of which are democracies. Allying with fellow democracies is a key part of Biden's approach to foreign policy.

Flashback: Trump's approach to these calls appeared a bit more scattershot. He quickly returned calls to the leaders of around a dozen countries — including Turkey, India and Egypt — while leaving some close allies like the U.K. waiting.

  • Trump also angered China by taking a call from Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen.
  • Some of Trump's apparently off-the-cuff remarks in the calls made it into the press, though his transition team did not provide formal readouts as Biden's has done.

Worth noting: These calls would normally be arranged with the help of the State Department — including from interpreters as needed — but the Trump administration has declined to make those services available to Biden.

Go deeper: Erdoğan finally congratulates Biden

Go deeper

Nov 22, 2020 - World

Netanyahu says Biden must not go back to Iran deal

Photo: Abir Sultan/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that President-elect Biden's administration “must not go back to the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran."

Why it matters: The comments — at the annual memorial ceremony for David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister — signal that Netanyahu is planning to repeat the public campaign against an Iran deal that he engaged in during the Obama administration.

Updated 26 mins ago - Politics & Policy

The top Republicans who have acknowledged Biden as president-elect

Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Some elected Republicans are breaking ranks with President Trump to acknowledge that President-elect Biden won the 2020 presidential election.

Why it matters: The relative sparsity of acknowledgements highlights Trump's lasting power in the GOP, as his campaign moves to file multiple lawsuits alleging voter fraud in key swing states — despite the fact that there have been no credible allegations of any widespread fraud anywhere in the U.S.

Updated 3 hours ago - World

Saudi Arabia denies Netanyahu met secretly with crown prince

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Bahrain's Foreign Minister Abdullatif at a press conference on Nov. 18. Photo: Menahem Kahana/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu traveled in secret Sunday to the city of Neom on Saudi Arabia's Red Sea coast for a meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Israeli sources told me.

The latest: Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan on Monday denied the meeting took place — a signal that the Saudis may be unhappy with the leak or are at least trying to publicly distance themselves from the meeting. Netanyahu, on the other hand, has not denied the story.