WASHINGTON, DC: Damage is seen inside the US Capitol building early yesterday in Washington, DC, after supporters of US President Donald Trump breeched security and entered the building during a session of Congress. – AFP

PARIS: World leaders and governments expressed shock and outrage at the storming of the US Capitol in Washington by supporters of President Donald Trump.

Germany
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said yesterday she was “furious and saddened” by the events and said Trump shared blame for the unrest. “I deeply regret that President Trump has not conceded his defeat, since November and again yesterday,” she said. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas called on Trump supporters to “stop trampling on democracy”.

Britain
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Twitter condemned the “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”. British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab added in his own tweet: “The US rightly takes great pride in its democracy, and there can be no justification for these violent attempts to frustrate the lawful and proper transition of power.”

Israel
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the “rampage at the Capitol yesterday was a disgraceful act and it must be vigorously condemned.” “I have no doubt that… American democracy will prevail. It always has,” added Netanyahu, who has repeatedly called Trump Israel’s best-ever friend in the White House.

European Union
The EU’s foreign policy chief condemned an “assault on US democracy”. “In the eyes of the world, American democracy tonight appears under siege,” Josep Borrell tweeted. Calling the action an “assault on US democracy, its institutions and the rule of law”, he added: “This is not America. The election results of 3 November must be fully respected.”

France
French President Emmanuel Macron said: “We will not give in to the violence of a few who want to question” democracy. In a video posted on his official Twitter account, he added: “What happened today in Washington is not American”. French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian also condemned “a serious attack on democracy”.

Russia
Russian officials pointed to the storming of the US Capitol as evidence of America’s decline, with Konstantin Kosachyov, chairman of the Russian upper house’s foreign affairs committee, saying it showed US democracy was “limping on both feet”. “The celebration of democracy has ended. It has, unfortunately, hit rock bottom, and I say this without a hint of gloating,” Kosachyov said in a post on Facebook. His counterpart in the lower house, Leonid Slutsky, said “the United States certainly cannot now impose electoral standards on other countries and claim to be the world’s ‘beacon of democracy’.”

Poland
Polish President Andrzej Duda, a close Trump ally who did not congratulate Biden on his victory until more than a month after the election, described the events as “an internal issue for the United States”. “Poland believes in the power of American democracy,” he added on Twitter.

Iran
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the chaos unleashed on the US Capitol “shows above all how fragile and vulnerable Western democracy is”. “We saw that unfortunately the ground is fertile for populism, despite the advances in science and industry,” Rouhani said in a speech broadcast by state television. “I hope the whole world and the next occupants of the White House will learn from it.”

Canada
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted: “Canadians are deeply disturbed and saddened by the attack on democracy in the United States, our closest ally and neighbor.”

Australia
Australian PM Scott Morrison condemned the “very distressing scenes” in the US. “We condemn these acts of violence and look forward to a peaceful transfer of Government to the newly elected administration in the great American democratic tradition,” he tweeted.

New Zealand
Jacinda Ardern tweeted: “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.” The PM added her country’s thoughts were with everyone “devastated” by the events in Washington, adding: “what is happening is wrong.”

NATO
“Shocking scenes in Washington, DC,” NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg tweeted. “The outcome of this democratic election must be respected.”

The Netherlands
“Horrible images from Washington D.C. Dear @realDonaldTrump, recognise @JoeBiden as the next president today,” Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Twitter. The plain-speaking Rutte once during a visit to the White House in 2018 interrupted Trump with a loud “no” when Trump made an assertion about EU-US trade.

Ireland
Irish premier Micheal Martin, who has invited the Irish-American Biden to visit his ancestral homeland early in his presidency, tweeted his condemnation. “The Irish people have a deep connection with the United States of America, built up over many generations. I know that many, like me, will be watching the scenes unfolding in Washington DC with great concern and dismay,” Martin said.

India
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a Trump ally who has heaped praise on the outgoing US president in the past, said he was “distressed to see news about rioting and violence” in Washington. “Orderly and peaceful transfer of power must continue. The democratic process cannot be allowed to be subverted through unlawful protests,” the Hindu nationalist leader tweeted.

Greece
“Extremely troubled by the violence and horrible events taking place in Washington D.C. American democracy is resilient, deeply rooted and will overcome this crisis,” Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in a tweet.

Turkey
“We are following with concern the internal developments happening in the US,” the Turkish foreign ministry said in a statement. “We call on all parties in the US to maintain restraint and prudence. We believe the US will overcome this internal political crisis in a mature manner.”

Austria
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said in a tweet that “this is an unacceptable assault on democracy. A peaceful and orderly transfer of power must be ensured.”

Czech Republic
“The looting and violence at the US Senate are not a good example for countries where democracy is fighting hard for a place in the sun,” Czech Foreign Minister Tomas Petricek said in a tweet. “Given the emotions sparked by the US presidential election, we could expect today’s session to be far from ordinary. Where were the police and the Senate bodyguards…?”

Denmark
“Extremism, violence, polarisation and violence is never the way forward. Terrible pictures from Washington. May democracy be brought back to working again,” Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said on Facebook.

Spain
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez tweeted that “Yesterday’s attack on the Capitol has only succeeded in reaffirming the principles we share. Spain will work with the United States for a more just world and the triumph of democracy over extremism.”

Slovenia
Slovenia’s right-wing Prime Minister Janez Jansa, who backed Trump and who has yet to congratulate Biden on his victory, tweeted: “All should be very troubled by the violence taking place in Washington D.C.” “We hope American democracy is resilient, deeply rooted and will overcome this crisis. Democracy presupposes peaceful protest, but violence and death threats -from Left or Right- are ALWAYS wrong.”

Fiji
Fiji Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama-who led a coup in 2006 and was accused of assaulting an opposition lawmaker in 2019 — added his condemnation. “The violent scenes we saw in Washington today are an affront to democracies around the globe. True and genuine democracy is a precious treasure that no nation should ever take for granted,” he tweeted. – AFP