World leaders express shock over US capitol violence
World leaders called the actions of Trump supporters a “disgrace,” and an attack on democracy. Many urged for restraint, calling for the results of the US election to be upheld.
Leaders across the world expressed shock over a violent mob of Trump supporters breaking into the US Capitol building, and demanding that the election results be overturned on Wednesday.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said the images from Washington DC showed a contempt for democracy.
“The enemies of democracy will rejoice at these inconceivable images from #WashingtonDC,” he tweeted. “Seditious words turn to violent actions — on the steps of the Reichstag, and now in the #Capitol. Contempt for democratic institutions has devastating effects.”
“Trump and his supporters should finally accept the decision of the American voters and stop trampling democracy underfoot,” Maas added.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called the scenes in the US capital a “disgrace,” and called for a peaceful and orderly transfer of power.
French President Emmanuel Macron responded to Wednesday’s violence at the US Capitol, saying he has confidence in the strength of democracy in the US.
“What happened in Washington is not American,” Macron said in a short video speech posted on Twitter.
European Union leaders such as Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel also took to Twitter to condemn the unrest, while urging a peaceful transformation of power.
Canada’s Trudeau ‘deeply disturbed’
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his country was “deeply disturbed and saddened” by the violence in Washington.
“Violence will never succeed in overruling the will of the people,” he tweeted.
Canadian Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne expressed deep shock over the situation. “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 condemned the attacks on the Capitol. “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,” he said.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg condemned the “shocking scenes” from the US capital, saying the outcome of the presidential election must be upheld.
Former US presidents respond
Former US President George W. Bush and his wife Laura said they were sickened and heartbroken by the scenes arising out of the US Capitol building. Bush said the actions were “undertaken by people whose passions have been inflamed by falsehoods and false hopes.”
Bill Clinton said the attack was fueled by Trump’s “poison politics.”
“The match was lit by Donald Trump and his most ardent enablers, including many in Congress, to overturn the results of an election he lost.” said Clinton.
Trump’s predecessor, former President Barack Obama, blamed Trump for inciting violence, in what he called “a moment of great dishonor and shame for our nation.”
Obama said that Republicans have a choice to “continue down this road and keep stoking the raging fires, or choose reality and take the first steps toward extinguishing the flames.”
tg/rs (dpa, AP, Reuters)