The disturbing news emanating from the United States of America in the last 24 hours has elicited outrage and condemnation from leaders across the world.
The chaotic scenes from the storming of the building at the center of American democracy by angry supporters of President Donald Trump are normally associated with countries where popular uprisings topple dictators in the third world countries.
But this time it was taking place at the United States of America by the violent citizens, misled by a sitting President, to stop a peaceful transition to power after a democratic election in a country that many around the world have looked at as a model for democratic governance.
The ensuing violence resulted in one death and several injuries. Many world leaders took to Twitter where they reacted with dismay and indignation.
“The riots and protests that we’ve seen in Washington, D.C., have been terribly distressing. They are very concerning,” Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison said in a statement.
“This is a difficult time for the United States, clearly. They’re a great friend of Australia, and they’re one of the world’s greatest democracies. And so our thoughts are with them and we hope for the peaceful transition to take place,” he said.
United Nations’ Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres also expressed sadness by the events at the U.S. Capitol. His spokesman, Stephane Dujarric said that “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.”
Irish Foreign and Defense Minister, Simon Coveney, said President Trump should be held responsible.
“We must call this out for what it is: a deliberate assault on Democracy by a sitting President and his supporters, attempting to overturn a free & fair election! The world is watching!” Coveney said on Twitter.
Expressing disgust over the invasion of the Capitol, Prime Minister Boris Johnson described the situation as ‘disgraceful’.
“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 twitted.
“Trump and his supporters should finally accept the decision of the American voters and stop trampling on democracy,” German Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas wrote on Twitter. “From inflammatory words come violent deeds. Contempt for democratic institutions has disastrous effects,” he submitted.
Other friendly institutions and countries that have long established close alliance with the United States also expressed concern over the incident, though some said they believed U.S. democratic institutions would weather the storm.
“I believe in the strength of US institutions and democracy. Peaceful transition of power is at the core. @JoeBiden won the election,” Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, wrote on Twitter.
“The outcome of this democratic election must be respected,” NATO Chief Jens Stoltenberg also wrote on Twitter.
Turkey’s Foreign Ministry released a statement on Wednesday urging its citizens in the United States to avoid crowded places and confrontations.
“We invite all parties in the USA to temperance and common sense. We believe that the USA will overcome this domestic political crisis in maturity,” it wrote in a statement.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian called Wednesday’s riots “a grave attack against democracy.”
The Organization of American States also condemned the mobs.
“The exercise of force and vandalism against the institutions constitutes a serious attack against democratic functioning,” the OAS General Secretariat on Incidents wrote in a statement Wednesday, urging a return to “much-needed rationality.”
Canada, a traditional ally of the United States also expressed sadness over the incidence. The country’s prime minister said Wednesday.
“Canadians are deeply disturbed and saddened by the attack on democracy in the United States, our closest ally and neighbor,” said Justin Trudeau on Twitter.
“Violence will never succeed in overruling the will of the people. Democracy in the US must be upheld – and it will be,” he added.
Meanwhile, Congress reconvened Wednesday night to finish certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, defying an assault from rioters who sought to derail the constitutional proceedings.
“We must and we will show to the country — and indeed to the world — that we will not be diverted from our duty,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said. “To those who engaged in the gleeful desecration of this, our temple of democracy, justice will be done.”
Vice President Mike Pence also decried the violence and, without naming President Trump, denounced the people the president had just said he loved. “To those who wreaked havoc in our Capitol today, you did not win,” Pence said.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell labeled the riots a “failed insurrection” and painted the continuation of the Electoral College session as a show of defiance against those who would seek to derail democracy.
“We are back at our posts; we will discharge our duty under the Constitution and for our nation. And we’re going to do it tonight,” he said
Senate Minority Leader, Chuck Schumer, went further, pinning the violence on Trump’s incitement and said Jan. 6, 2021 would go down alongside the attack on Pearl Harbor as a day that will “live in infamy.”