‘Disgraceful’: World reacts as Trump supporters storm US Capitol

Several countries including Australia, the UK, and Canada call for calm and a peaceful transition of power.

Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier at the Capitol in Washington [Julio Cortez/AP Photo]
Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier at the Capitol in Washington [Julio Cortez/AP Photo]

Donald Trump’s supporters stormed a session of Congress which was being held to certify Joe Biden’s election win with world leaders following the developments in Washington, DC, with “concern”.

Hours after an extraordinary rally by Trump challenging his defeat, flag-waving backers broke down barricades outside the Capitol and swarmed inside, with the special session going into an emergency recess as protesters entered the chambers.

The desperate last-minute bid by Trump to overturn his election loss sparked chaos and accusations of a “coup” attempt, with several countries calling on Trump’s supporters to show calm and restraint.

United Nations

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres was “saddened” by the breach of the US Capitol building, according to his spokesman Stephane Dujarric.

“In such circumstances, it is important that political leaders impress on their followers the need to refrain from violence, as well as to respect democratic processes and the rule of law,” Dujarric said in a statement.

The president of the General Assembly Volkan Bozkir, meanwhile, said he was “deeply concerned” by the violence and the interruption of the democratic process in the US, where the UN headquarters is located.

New Zealand

New Zealand’s Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta said the events in Washington were a source of regret and that New Zealand looked forward to the peaceful transition of power.

“Violence has no place in thwarting democracy,” she wrote on Twitter. “We look forward to the peaceful transition of the political administration, which is the hallmark of democracy.” Mahuta ended her post with a Maori blessing.

Australia

Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison condemned what he described as “very distressing scenes” in the US Congress, and said Australia looked forward to the peaceful transfer of power to the newly-elected administration.

It was, he said on Twitter, a “great American democratic tradition”.

 

France

In a video posted to Twitter, French President Emmanuel Macron described the attack on Congress as “not America” and said he had “confidence in the strength of democracy in the United States.”

Earlier, Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Twitter: “The violence against the American institutions is a grave attack on democracy. I condemn it. The will and the vote of the American people must be respected.”

 

European Union

Charles Michel, president of the European Council, said he was shocked at events in Washington, describing the US Congress as a “temple of democracy” and urging the peaceful transfer of power.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen stressed the “strength of US institutions and democracy” and said she was looking forward to working with Joe Biden as the next president.

Venezuela

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza tweeted: “Venezuela expresses its concern for the violent events that are taking place in the city of Washington, USA; condemns the political polarization and hopes that the American people will open a new path toward stability and social justice.”

Turkey

Turkey’s foreign ministry called on all parties in the United States to use restraint and calm.

“Turkey is monitoring worrying developments in the US, including attempts to storm the Capitol building,” the ministry said in a statement. “We believe that the US will overcome this domestic crisis calmly.”

The statement also called on Turkish citizens in the US to stay away from crowded places and where demonstrations were being held.

Turkey’s Parliament Speaker Mustafa Sentop said on Twitter: “We follow the events in the USA with concern and invite the parties to calmness. We believe that problems will always be solved within law and democracy.”

NATO

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg called for respect of the outcome of the election held in November last year.

“Shocking scenes in Washington, DC,” Stoltenberg tweeted. “The outcome of this democratic election must be respected.”

“The enemies of democracy will be delighted at these terrible images from Washington DC,” he wrote on Wednesday. “Trump and his supporters must accept the decision of American voters at last and stop trampling on democracy.”

Iran

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Thursday the storming of the United States Capitol building demonstrated the failure of Western democracy.

“What we saw last night and today in America firstly proved what a failure the Western democracy is and how fragile and weak its foundation is,” he said.

He said US President Donald Trump had brought “calamities” on America, accusing the US leader of blemishing the country’s dignity and reputation.

Canada

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed concern about the violent scenes, saying Canada was “concerned and we’re following the situation minute by minute”.

“I think the American democratic institutions are strong, and hopefully everything will return to normal shortly,” Trudeau told the News 1130 Vancouver radio station.

In a tweet posted on the official @CanadianPM Twitter account, Trudeau said Canadians were “deeply disturbed and saddened by the attack on democracy in the United States, our closest ally and neighbour. Violence will never succeed in overruling the will of the people.”

United Kingdom

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson condemned the “disgraceful scenes” and urged a peaceful transition to Democrat Joe Biden’s presidency.

“Disgraceful scenes in US Congress. The United States stands for democracy around the world and it is now vital that there should be a peaceful and orderly transfer of power,” Johnson said on Twitter.

Norway

Prime Minister Erna Solberg said she was shocked over the attack on the US Capitol, pinning some blame on President Donald Trump.

“Our key message is that this is unacceptable,” she told reporters.

“In a democracy, the losing party must actually acknowledge its electoral defeat… and contribute to a peaceful transfer of power,” Solberg said.

“There is no doubt that Donald Trump is responsible for the polarization, and for inciting his supporters not to accept the election. One can conduct analysis that this has built up for 30 years, but Donald Trump is responsible for this,” Solberg added.

Germany

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday she was “furious and saddened” by the storming of the US Capitol by supporters of Donald Trump and said the president shared blame for the unrest.

“I deeply regret that President Trump has not conceded his defeat, since November and again yesterday,” she said.

“Doubts about the election outcome were stoked and created the atmosphere that made the events of last night possible,” she said, adding that her shock was certainly shared by the “millions of people who admire America’s democratic tradition”.

She welcomed a statement by President-elect Joe Biden as well as “many reactions from both major parties of the US” which she said reassured her “that this democracy will prove to be much stronger than the attackers and rioters”.

Israel

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday condemned as “disgraceful” violence by supporters of his staunch ally President Donald Trump at the US Capitol building.

Netanyahu made the comments in Jerusalem alongside Trump’s Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, who called the storming of the Capitol by pro-Trump rioters “unacceptable”.

The Israeli leader said the “rampage at the Capitol yesterday was a disgraceful act and it must be vigorously condemned.”

“I have no doubt that… American democracy will prevail. It always has,” added Netanyahu, who has repeatedly called Trump Israel’s best-ever friend in the White House.

China

China called for peace in the US on Thursday after the Capitol Hill violence.

“China hopes that Americans can enjoy peace, stability and security as soon as possible,” China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a news conference in Beijing.

Russia

Russia’s foreign ministry said the US electoral process is archaic and prone to violations.

“The events in Washington show that the US electoral process is archaic, does not meet modern standards and is prone to violations,” the foreign ministry said in a statement published by the state-run RIA Novosti news agency.

“We wish that the friendly American people will survive this dramatic moment in their own history with dignity.”

Source : Al Jazeera and News agencies

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