World leaders react to attack on US Capitol by Trump’s supporters
Violent scenes in Washington after supporters of US President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol building on Wednesday have been condemned by World leaders.
At the time the riots were on it forced the suspension of a joint session of Congress to certify Joe Biden’s electoral victory.
In their reaction, many leaders called for peace and an orderly transition of power, describing what happened as “horrifying” and an “attack on democracy”.
Boris Johnson, UK Prime Minister condemned the act as “disgraceful scenes”.
“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,” he wrote on Twitter.
A British opposition leader Sir Keir Starmer described it as a “direct attack on democracy”.
Home Secretary Priti Patel says Donald Trump was wrong for not condemning the violence
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon in a tweet describes what happened as “Utterly horrifying”,
Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, said those who stormed the US legislature were “attackers and rioters” and that she felt “angry and also sad” after seeing pictures from the scene.
While speaking during a meeting with German conservatives, she stated: “I regret very much that President Trump has still not admitted defeat, but has kept raising doubts about the elections.”
In the reaction of China, it attempted to draw comparisons between the rioters who entered Congress to try and subvert the US election result and pro-democracy protesters who stormed Hong Kong’s Legislative Council last year.
Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying claimed events in Hong Kong were more “severe” than those in Washington but “not one demonstrator died”.
The comparisons between the two incidents has caused outrage among Hong Kong’s pro-democracy activists and their supporters.
There were condemnation of the scenes in Washington as an attack on democracy by European leaders.
According to Pedro Sánchez, the Spanish Prime Minister: “I have trust in the strength of US democracy. The new presidency of Joe Biden will overcome this tense stage, uniting the American people.”
Emmanuel Macron of France, in a video on Twitter “When, in one of the world’s oldest democracies, supporters of an outgoing president take up arms to challenge the legitimate results of an election, a universal idea – that of ‘one person, one vote’ – is undermined.
“What happened today in Washington DC is not American, definitely. We believe in the strength of our democracies. We believe in the strength of American democracy” he added.
Stefan Lofven, the Swedish Prime Minister described the incident as “worrying” and said it was “an assault on democracy”.
European Council President Charles Michel said he trusted the US “to ensure a peaceful transfer of power” to Mr Biden, while European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said she looked forward to working with the Democrat, who “won the election”.
Other global figures like, the Secretary-General of the Nato military alliance, Jens Stoltenberg, said that the outcome of the election “must be respected”.
The UN Secretary-General António Guterres was “saddened” by the events at the US Capitol, his spokesman said.
America’s close ally and neighbour to its north was also shocked. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canadians were “deeply disturbed and saddened by the attack on democracy”.
“Violence will never succeed in overruling the will of the people. Democracy in the US must be upheld – and it will be,” he wrote on Twitter.
Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, tweeted that “democracy – the right of people to exercise a vote, have their voice heard and then have that decision upheld peacefully – should never be undone by a mob”.
Another close US ally, Prime Minister Scott Morrison of Australia condemned the “distressing scenes” and said he looked forward to a peaceful transfer of power.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India, the world’s largest democracy, who has enjoyed a good relationship with President Trump – said he was “distressed to see news about rioting and violence” in Washington.
“Orderly and peaceful transfer of power must continue,” he tweeted.
Turkey, an ally through Nato, said it invited “all parties” to show “restraint and common sense”.
In the reaction of the Venezuelan government, which the US does not recognise as legitimate, it said “with this regrettable episode, the United States suffers the same thing that it has generated in other countries with its policies of aggression”.
Argentina’s President Alberto Fernández and Chile’s President Sebastián Piñera in statements on Twitter, also condemned the scenes in Washington. Mr Piñera said Chile “trusts in the solidity of US democracy to guarantee the rule of law”.
Chief Cabinet Secretary of Japan, Katsunobu Kato said the government hoped for a “peaceful transfer of power” in the United States.
Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama of Fiji, who led a coup in 2006, also expressed outrage at the events that took place.
The violent scenes we saw in Washington today are an affront to democracies around the globe. True and genuine democracy is a precious treasure that no nation should ever take for granted. We are confident the USA will soon close this ugly chapter once and for all.
In Singapore, Senior Minister Teo Chee Hean said he had watched as the “shocking” scenes took place, adding: “Its a sad day.”