Washington: Top world leaders came forward to criticise the violence triggered in the US 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, as international media took up the story.
“Orderly and peaceful transfer of power must continue,” India’s PM Narendra Modi said in a tweet.
Distressed to see news about rioting and violence in Washington DC. Orderly and peaceful transfer of power must continue. The democratic process cannot be allowed to be subverted through unlawful protests,” PM Modi tweeted.
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’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’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”.
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.”
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.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed concern about the violent scenes, saying Canada was “concerned and we’re following the situation minute by minute”.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson condemned the “disgraceful scenes” and urged a peaceful transition to Democrat Joe Biden’s presidency.