Drakeford appeals to Biden’s Welsh links in plea to ‘work together’

Joe Biden picture by Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0). Mark Drakeford picture by the Welsh Government.

The First Minister Mark Drakeford has appealed to Joe Biden’s links with Wales in a plea for Wales and the United States to work together.

Joe Biden was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, a town which saw an influx of Welsh immigrants in the 19th century to work in the coal and steel industries.

Mark Drakeford said that he was writing to offer his warm congratulations on Joe Biden’s victory in the US Presidential election, and that they had a common goal on Covid-19 and climate change.

The letter did not mention Brexit, despite Joe Biden sharing the Welsh Government’s reservations about the UK Government’s plan.

“The people of Wales and the United States have deep historical ties which date back to the founding of the country,” Mark Drakeford said in his letter.

“As I’m sure you are aware, Americans of Welsh descent played an important role in the development of the coal and steel-producing parts of America, not least in your home town of Scranton, Pennsylvania.

“Today the bonds between our two nations are deeper than ever – in business, in education and in the cultural sphere.

“There are important areas where we can achieve even more by working together.

“The Welsh Government is determined to address the issue of climate change, which can only be achieved through international collaboration. We firmly believe that the challenges of racial equality demand action from us in Wales. And, of course, the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic requires a co-ordinated global response.
I welcome your commitment to re-engage with international organisations and play a leading role on this and many other critical issues.

“You have come to office at a time of unprecedented challenge and change. On behalf of the people of Wales, I wish you every success and look forward to the opportunity to strengthen the relationship and ties between our two countries.”

 

‘Historic’

Mark Drakeford also wrote to the Vice-President elect, Kamala Harris, and invited her to Wales.

“Please accept my warm and sincere congratulations on your election as Vice President of
the United States of America,” he said.

“Your election is truly historic and I hope you will be the first of many women to achieve the
highest offices of state as well as inspiring more women around the world to enter politics,
at all levels.

“The people of Wales and the United States have deep, historical ties, which date back to the
founding of the country. As you may be aware, Americans of Welsh descent played an
important role in the development of the coal and steel-producing parts of America.

“Today the bonds between our two nations are deeper than ever – in business, in education
and in the cultural sphere.

“We also share many of the same goals – in achieving equality and fairness for all and a
brighter future for our children and grandchildren.

“I look forward to the opportunity when I will be able to welcome you to Wales.”

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