Rioters forced their way past metal security barricades, broke windows and scaled walls to fight their way into the Capitol, which houses the legislative branch of the American federal government
NEW DELHI: World leaders have voiced concern and distress over the storming of US Capitol by a group of Trump's supporters in an attempt to overturn his election loss. The incident occurred hours ahead of the US Congress formally certifying Democrat Joe Biden’s win in the November presidential polls.
According to news reports, four people died during the chaos -- one from gunshot wounds and three from medical emergencies -- and 52 people were arrested after rioters forced their way past metal security barricades, broke windows and scaled walls to fight their way into the Capitol, which houses the legislative branch of the American federal government.
“Distressed to see news about rioting and violence in Washington DC," said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a Twitter post on Thursday. “Orderly and peaceful transfer of power must continue. The democratic process cannot be allowed to be subverted through unlawful protests," he said.
The breach capped weeks of refusal by Trump to accept the verdict of the 3 November polls and repeated charges of the elections being fraudulent.
Some of the leaders who voiced concern, were those who had stood by Trump during the past four years.
“Disgraceful scenes in US Congress," UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a Twitter post after Trump’s supporters stormed the building.
“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, a previously unabashed admirer of the outgoing president said.
British interior minister Priti Patel described the violence as "terrible", urging Trump to condemn the scenes in Washington. She said the events were "terrible beyond words", and Trump had not only failed to de-escalate the violence but had fuelled it.
"His comments directly led to the violence, and so far, he has failed to condemn that violence and that is completely wrong," Patel, who is in charge of security and policing in Britain, told BBC TV.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, another ally, who had previously voiced support of Trump, described the scenes as “very distressing".
“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 said.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a radio interview said: “We’re following the situation minute by minute as it unfolds."
Another US ally, Japan, said it was watching “with concern" the situation in the US, chief government spokesman Katsunobu Kato told reporters.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed anger and sadness over the images from Washington. “I regret very much that President Trump has not recognized his defeat since November, and again yesterday," she told reporters in Berlin. “Doubt was sown about the election result and that created the atmosphere for the events of yesterday evening."
Close friend and Trump supporter, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu described the “rampage" as “a disgraceful act that must be vigorously condemned."
“I have no doubt that American democracy will prevail -- it always has," Netanyahu who has shared a warmer relationship with Trump than with his predecessor Barack Obama due to the former’s antagonism towards Iran, was quoted as saying at a meeting with US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, according to the Israeli prime minister’s office.
The reactions came after President-elect Joe Biden used a televised appearance to urge Americans to “think what the rest of the world is looking at" when they viewed the chaotic scenes from Washington.
News reports Thursday said many senior White House officials had resigned or were to hand in their resignations after the breach of security at US Capitol.
Other leaders on friendly terms with Trump played down the incident. Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro told supporters outside the presidential palace in Brasilia that he stood by Trump. “You know I am connected to Trump, you know my response," he said, adding that there “have been many reports of fraud" in the US election.
Polish President Andrzej Duda, who considers himself a political ally of Trump, also held back from criticising Trump. The events in Washington were an “internal affair" and that power depended on the will of the voters, he said in a Twitter post.
Meanwhile, China with which Trump has had an antagonistic relationship during his term in office of trade, human rights and the covid-19 pandemic, used the opportunity to drive home a narrative of American hypocrisy, with state media terming the situation as “retribution" for Washington’s support for global protest movements.