Images of violent rioters storming the U.S. Capitol stunned the world Wednesday, as a pro-Trump mob breached police barricades and sought to force Congress to undo President Donald Trump’s election loss.
Lawmakers gathered in a joint session to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory were forced to evacuate as Trump supporters turned violent and stormed the building, making their way into the Senate Chamber.
Politicians around the world quickly condemned the violence, urging respect for America’s democratic processes and a peaceful transfer of power.
British Prime Minister and longtime Trump ally Boris Johnson condemned the “disgraceful scenes in U.S. Congress” on Twitter Wednesday, calling for “a peaceful and orderly transfer of power.”
The U.K.’s foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, backed Johnson, tweeting that “there can be no justification for these violent attempts to frustrate the lawful and proper transition of power.”
Keir Starmer, the leader of the U.K.’s opposition Labour Party, said it was a “direct attack on democracy and legislators carrying out the will of the American people.”
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a radio interview that he was “concerned” watching the violent and chaotic scenes unfold in Washington D.C.
“I think the American democratic institutions are strong and hopefully everything will return to normal shortly,” Trudeau told News 1130 in Vancouver, adding that “we’re going to continue to do what we need to do to make sure that Canadians are well served in our relationship with the United States, regardless of how things unfold.”
Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization that comprises 30 European and North American countries, urged for respect for the democratic process in the U.S., calling the scenes from Washington D.C. “shocking.”
“The outcome of this democratic election must be respected,” Stoltenberg tweeted.
“The enemies of democracy will be delighted at these terrible images from Washington DC,” tweeted Germany’s foreign minister Heiko Maas Wednesday, after a mob of Trump supporters were photographed vandalizing lawmakers’ offices, waving Confederate flags, and scaling walls inside the Senate Chamber.
“Trump and his supporters must accept the decision of American voters at last and stop trampling on democracy.”
Echoing worldwide calls for the rioters to respect democracy, French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian condemned the violence. “The American people’s will and vote must be respected,” he wrote on Twitter.
Ireland’s Taoiseach Micheál Martin, who had warmly welcomed Joe Biden’s election victory, expressed sadness over the events at the Capitol.
“The Irish people have a deep connection with the United States of America, built up over many generations,” Martin tweeted. “I know that many, like me, will be watching the scenes unfolding in Washington DC with great concern and dismay.”
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte directly addressed the outgoing President, urging him to recognize President-elect Joe Biden “as the next president today.”
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez expressed his confidence in the “strength of America’s democracy” and said he was following with concern the news coming from the Capitol in Washington. “The new Presidency of Joe Biden will overcome this time of tension, uniting the American people,” he tweeted.
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven said Wednesday’s events in Washington D.C. were “deeply worrying,” and “an assault on democracy.” He called for the democratic process to be respected. Löfven also directly referenced Trump, tweeting that both Trump and members of Congress “bear substantial responsibility for developments.”
World – TIME
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