Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Combination images of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and President-elect Joe Biden. Photo: NZ Prime Minister's Office/Instagram/Joe Raedle/Getty Images

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.
  • That 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 on Nov. 17, 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.

On Nov. 22, his next call went to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

  • The following day, he made his first call to an Arab leader, Jordan's King Abdullah II.
  • That same day he placed three calls to Brussels. He spoke to Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel, the leaders of the European Commission and European Council respectively.
  • He also underlined his commitment to NATO with a call to Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

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 declined to make those services available to Biden prior to the official certification from the General Services Administration.

Go deeper: Nearly the whole world considers Biden president-elect

Go deeper

Jan 23, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Sullivan speaks with Israel's national security adviser for the first time

Israeli national security adviser Meir Ben Shabbat U.S. Photo: Mazen Mahdi/Getty Images. U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan. Photo: Chandan Khanna/Getty Images

U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan spoke on the phone Saturday with his Israeli counterpart Meir Ben Shabbat, Israeli officials tell Axios.

Why it matters: This is the first contact between the Biden White House and Israeli prime minister's office. During the transition, the Biden team refrained from speaking to foreign governments.

Jan 23, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden speaks to Mexican president about reversing Trump's "draconian immigration policies"

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Ismael Rosas/Eyepix Group/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

President Biden told his Mexican counterpart, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, on a phone call Friday that he plans to reverse former President Trump’s “draconian immigration policies.”

The big picture: The Biden administration has already started repealing several of Trump’s immigration policies, including ordering a 100-day freeze on deporting many unauthorized immigrants, halting work on the southern border wall, and reversing plans to exclude undocumented people from being included in the 2020 census.

Updated 19 hours ago - World

Mexican President López Obrador tests positive for coronavirus

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador during a press conference at National Palace in Mexico City, on Wednesday. Photo: Ismael Rosas/Eyepix Group/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced Sunday evening that he's tested positive for COVID-19.

Driving the news: López Obrador tweeted that he has mild symptoms and is receiving medical treatment. "As always, I am optimistic," he added. "We will all move forward."