European leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron, on Tuesday congratulated Boris Johnson on becoming the U.K.’s next prime minister and head of the ruling Conservative Party.
Merkel, who is known for her tough stance on Brexit, said she was looking forward to a good collaboration with Johnson.
“Our countries should maintain their close friendship also in the future,” she said via a deputy spokesperson on Twitter.
French President Macron congratulated Johnson and said he was looking forward to working with him as quickly as possible, not only on issues such as Brexit, but also on various international issues, including Iran.
The incoming EU Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen has congratulated Johnson, but also warned of challenging times ahead.
“I’m looking forward to having a good working relationship with him, there are many different and difficult issues to tackle together,” she said, in remarks to reporters ahead of her meeting with Macron in Paris.
“We have challenging times ahead of us, I think it is very important to build up a strong and good working relationship, because we have the duty to deliver something which is good for people in Europe and in the United Kingdom,” she added.
The current EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who did not hide his anger at Brexit delays in the past couple of months, congratulated Johnson with a letter and underlined the great responsibility he was bearing.
“I wish you every success in the task ahead. I look forward to working together in the best possible way,” he said.
By Ayhan Simsek in Berlin