News Politics Australian Politics PM congratulates Joe Biden on election victory
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PM congratulates Joe Biden on election victory

scott MOrrison joe biden
A picture released by Mr Morrison's office, apparently taken during his conversation with Mr Biden. Photo: Facebook/Scott Morrison
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Prime Minister Scott Morrison has contacted Joe Biden to congratulate him on winning the US presidential election.

Mr Morrison called the President-elect from Canberra on Thursday morning.

“There are no greater friends and no greater allies than Australia and the US,” he said after the telephone conversation.

“I look forward to strengthening even further our deep and enduring alliance, and to working with him closely as we face the world’s many challenges together.

“We look forward to celebrating the 70th anniversary of ANZUS next year.”

Mr Morrison did not reveal many details of his conversation with Mr Biden, although he said later the subject of a date for zero net carbon emissions was not discussed.

“I raised with the President-elect the similarity between the President-elect’s comments and policies regarding emissions reduction technologies that we needed to achieve that, and we look forward to working on those issues,” he said.

In a statement later, Mr Biden also expressed his commitment to the US-Australia alliance. He said he looked forward to “working closely with Prime Minister Morrison on many common challenges, including containing the COVID-19 pandemic and guarding against future global health threats; confronting climate change; laying the groundwork for the global economic recovery; strengthening democracy, and maintaining a secure and prosperous Indo-Pacific region”.

Mr Biden, who also spoke to the leaders of Japan and South Korea on Thursday, is due to be inaugurated on January 20. But President Donald Trump is still refusing to concede defeat after continuing with baseless claims of voter fraud.

Mr Morrison said he was not concerned about the transition of power in Washington.

He said Mr Trump’s refusal to concede was not a matter for him as the Australian head of government.

“That is a matter for the President,” Mr Morrison said.

The PM said he and Mr Biden spoke about multilateral engagement around the world and the “indispensable and important” role of the US.

“He and I will be the next pairing of stewards of this important relationship of this alliance,” Mr Morrison said.

“We understand the responsibility of that extends well beyond our terms and our specific domestic responsibilities.”

Mr Biden is continuing to further lay the groundwork for his administration even as Mr Trump pursues a flurry of lawsuits challenging the election results.

Judges so far have tossed out lawsuits in Michigan and Georgia brought by Mr Trump’s campaign, and legal experts say the litigation has little chance of changing the outcome of the November 3 election.

Some 80 per cent of Americans, including half of Republicans, say Mr Biden is the rightful winner, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Tuesday.

Mr Trump, meanwhile, emerged from the White House for the first time since the weekend on Wednesday to place a memorial wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery to mark Veterans Day.

He and wife Melania were 20 minutes late for the 11am invitation-only commemoration.

-with AAP