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World leaders react to 'horrifying' scenes in Washington


World leaders have condemned the violent scenes in Washington, where rioters supporting US President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol building.

The action forced the suspension of a joint session of Congress to certify Joe Biden's electoral victory.

Many leaders called for peace and an orderly transition of power, describing what happened as "horrifying" and an "attack on democracy".


UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson condemned the "disgraceful scenes".


Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed concern about the violent scenes in Washington. “Obviously, we’re concerned and we’re following the situation minute by minute,” Trudeau told the News 1130 Vancouver radio station. “I think the American democratic institutions are strong, and hopefully everything will return to normal shortly.”

Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne on Twitter: “Canada is deeply shocked by the situation in Washington DC. The peaceful transition of power is fundamental to democracy – it must continue, and it will. We are following developments closely and our thoughts are with the American people.”


Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven in a tweet described the incidents as “an attack on democracy”. “President Trump and many members of Congress bear significant responsibility for what’s now taking place. The democratic process of electing a president must be respected.”


German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said democracy’s enemies would be cheered by scenes of violence at the United States Capitol, and he called on Trump to accept U.S. voters’ decision.

In a Tweet posted after protesters stormed the seat of the U.S. legislature, Maas said the violence had been caused by inflammatory rhetoric. “Trump and his supporters must accept the decision of American voters at last and stop trampling on democracy.”

“Quite Maidan-style pictures are coming from DC,” Russia’s deputy U.N. Ambassador Dmitry Polyanskiy posted on Twitter, referring to protests in Ukraine that toppled Russian-backed President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovich in 2014.

“Some of my friends ask whether someone will distribute crackers to the protesters to echo Victoria Nuland stunt,” he said, citing a 2013 visit to Ukraine when then-U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland offered food to protesters.


Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said in a tweet: “I am following with concern the news that are coming from Capitol Hill in Washington. I trust in the strength of America’s democracy.

“The new Presidency of @JoeBiden will overcome this time of tension, uniting the American people.”


Turkey’s foreign ministry issued a statement expressing concern about the violence and called for calm and common sense while urging its citizens to avoid crowds and the protest area.


Other UK politicians joined him in criticizing the violence, with opposition leader Sir Keir Starmer calling it a "direct attack on democracy".


Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted that the scenes from the Capitol were "utterly horrifying".


Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said: "I have trust in the strength of US democracy. The new presidency of Joe Biden will overcome this tense stage, uniting the American people."


French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian condemned the "grave attack against democracy", while his German counterpart, Heiko Maas, said Mr Trump and his supporters "must accept the decision of American voters at last and stop trampling on democracy".

European Council President Charles Michel said he trusted the US "to ensure a peaceful transfer of power" to Mr Biden, and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said she looked forward to working with the Democrat.


Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg joined those in saying that the outcome of the election "must be respected".


From New Zealand, Prime Minister 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".


Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison condemned the "distressing scenes" and said he looked forward to a peaceful transfer of power.

India's Narendra Modi said he was "distressed to see news about rioting and violence" in Washington and urged the "peaceful transfer of power must continue".


The Venezuelan government said that "with this regrettable episode, the United States suffers the same thing that it has generated in other countries with its policies of aggression".


In statements on Twitter, Argentina's President Alberto Fernández and Chile's President Sebastián Piñera also condemned the scenes in Washington.

Mr Piñera said Chile "trusts in the solidity of US democracy to guarantee the rule of law".


In India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is known to have previously forged a good relationship with Mr Trump, said he was "distressed to see news about rioting and violence".

"Orderly and peaceful transfer of power must continue. The democratic process cannot be allowed to be subverted through unlawful protests," he tweeted.

In Japan, Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said it hoped for a "peaceful transfer of power" in the United States.


From Fiji, Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, who led a coup in 2006, also expressed outrage at the events that took place.


And in Singapore, the country's Senior Minister Teo Chee Hean said he had watched as the "shocking" scenes took place, adding: "Its a sad day".

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