World reacts with alarm at insurrection1 min read . Updated: 08 Jan 2021, 06:27 AM IST
- Leaders who voiced concern included those who stood by Trump in the past four years
World leaders on Thursday condemned the storming of the US Capitol, the seat of the federal legislature, by supporters of President Donald Trump in a bid to overturn his election loss, with the German Chancellor laying the blame on Trump himself.
Four people died during the chaos—one from gunshot wounds and three from medical emergencies—and 52 were arrested after thousands of rioters broke through security barricades, smashed windows and scaled walls to force their way into chambers of the Congress.
Also Read | How US democracy nearly came undone
“Distressed to see news about rioting and violence in Washington DC," Prime Minister Narendra Modi said. “Orderly and peaceful transfer of power must continue. The democratic process cannot be allowed to be subverted through unlawful protests."
The breach capped weeks of refusal by Trump to accept the verdict of the 3 November polls.
Expressing her anger and sadness at the insurrection, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said, “I regret very much that President Trump has not recognized his defeat since November, and again yesterday.
“Doubt was sown about the election result, and that created the atmosphere for the events of yesterday evening."
Leaders who voiced concern included those who stood by Trump in the past four years.
“Disgraceful scenes in US Congress," said UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, previously seen as an unabashed Trump admirer. “The US stands for democracy around the world, and it is now vital that there should be a peaceful and orderly transfer of power."
British interior minister Priti Patel also accused Trump of fuelling the violence. The rioting flared soon after a Trump speech where he repeated his unsubstantiated allegations.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, another Trump ally, said, “We condemn these acts of violence and look forward to a peaceful transfer of government."
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, a close friend of Trump, described the “rampage" as “a disgraceful act that must be vigorously condemned".
Among those who played down the incident were Brazil’s President, Jair Bolsonaro, who spoke about “many reports of fraud" in the US election, and Polish President Andrzej Duda.
China, with which Trump has had an antagonistic relationship, used the opportunity to drive home a narrative of American hypocrisy, with state media casting the situation as “retribution" for Washington’s support for global protest movements—an allusion to the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong.