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Deeply disturbing: World reacts as Trump supporters storm US Capitol

Leaders around the world condemned the storming of the US Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump on Wednesday. Expressing shock at the chaos unfolding in a country most leaders have called for a smooth transition of power respecting the mandate of the people.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi who had endorsed Trump ahead of the US elections tweeted on Thursday morning, expressing distress after thousands of supporters of President Donald Trump clashed with police, resulting in at least four deaths and multiple injuries.

The United Nations also reacted to the developments in the streets of Washington DC and the major security breech at Capitol Hill.

Volkan Bozkir, president of the 193-member United Nations General Assembly, said he was saddened by the developments.

“Deeply concerned by violence at the Capitol in #WashingtonDC and the interruption of the democratic process in the UN’s host country,” he tweeted.

He added: “As President of the UN General Assembly, I’m saddened & concerned by today’s developments at the Capitol in #WashingtonDC.The US is one of the world’s major democracies. I believe that peace & respect for democratic processes will prevail in our host country at this critical time.”

“Disgraceful scenes in US Congress,” tweeted Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain, a staunch ally of the United States over generations. “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.”

Other allies were similarly appalled at what they described as an attack on American democracy.

America’s immediate neighbour Canada was one of the first to react. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his country was “deeply disturbed” by the events in the US.

Prime Minister Trudeau in a tweet wrote, “Canadians are deeply disturbed and saddened by the attack on democracy in the United States, our closest ally and neighbour. Violence will never succeed in overruling the will of the people. Democracy in the US must be upheld – and it will be.”

Some leaders singled out Trump for harsh criticism.

“Trump and his supporters should finally accept the decision of the American voters and stop trampling on democracy,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas wrote on Twitter. “From inflammatory words come violent deeds.” He added that “contempt for democratic institutions has disastrous effects.”

The French President put out a video message summarising “We believe in democracy. #WeAreOne”

Important allies and world leaders who worked very closely with outgoing President Trump have urged him to transfer power, including Australian Prime Miniter Scott Morrison who said, “Very distressing scenes at the US Congress. 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.”

Many leaders and Members of Parliament from New Zealand expressed concern and hoped for democracy to prevail.

Prime Minister of New Zealand wrote, “Like so many others, I’ve been watching what’s happening in the United States. I share the sentiment of friends in the US – what is happening is wrong.”

She added, “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. Our thoughts are with everyone who is as devastated as we are by the events of today. I have no doubt democracy will prevail.”

“The beauty of democracy?” with a shrug emoji was the reaction tweeted by Bashir Ahmad, a personal assistant to the president of Nigeria, which has seen several coups since independence — including one led decades ago by President Muhammadu Buhari, who most recently entered the office via a vote.

European Parliament President David Sassoli, who leads one of the largest legislatures in the world, also denounced the scenes at the Capitol. The European Union has spent four cantankerous years dealing with the Trump administration, and its top officials have repeatedly said they are looking forward to a better relationship under President-elect Joe Biden.

“This is insurrection. Nothing less. In Washington,” tweeted Carl Bildt, a former prime minister of Sweden.

Turkey, a NATO ally that has sometimes been at odds with Washington, expressed concern over the images of angry Trump supporters trying to thwart the certification of Biden as the new president. The chaos forced lawmakers to be rushed from the building.

A Turkish Foreign Ministry statement urged all parties in the United States to use “moderation and common sense.” “We believe that the United States will overcome this domestic political crisis with maturity,” the ministry said.

Chilean President Sebastian Pinera and Colombian President Ivan Duque were among those in Latin America who denounced the protesters, but both also said they were confident that American democracy and the rule of law would prevail.

“In this sad episode in the US, supporters of fascism showed their real face: anti-democratic and aggressive,” tweeted Luis Roberto Barroso, Brazilian Supreme Court justice and the head of the country’s electoral court. He said he hoped “American society and institutions react with vigour to this threat to democracy.”

While most expressed concern, there were countries like Venezuela and China that questioned America for similar chaos that the country has wreaked in other parts of the world.

Chinese mouthpiece Global Times likened the situation in DC to the one in Hong Kong and mocked the US Capitol Hill chaos as a ‘beautiful sight’

“@SpeakerPelosi once referred to the Hong Kong riots as “a beautiful sight to behold” — it remains yet to be seen whether she will say the same about the recent developments in Capitol Hill,” Global Times wrote in a tweet.

Venezuela, which is under US sanctions, said the events in Washington show that the U.S. “is suffering what it has generated in other countries with its politics of aggression.”

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has survived U.S.-backed opposition efforts to oust him despite accusations of human rights abuses, civil unrest and a humanitarian crisis that has forced millions to flee the oil-rich country.

In Puerto Rico, many people took to social media and joked that the US territory no longer wanted statehood. Independence, they said, looked appealing for the first time in decades.

In fact, it was that pursuit of independence that marked one of the last times the US Congress was stormed violently. Four members of Puerto Ricos Nationalist Party opened fire on the House floor in March 1954, wounding five lawmakers.

Italians watched the events with shock, having always considered the US to be the model of democracy and the country that rescued Italy after its fascist descent during World War II.

Mohamad Safa, a Lebanese diplomat and also Permanent Representative to the United Nations, made his comment on the incident on Twitter, saying that “If the United States saw what the United States is doing in the United States, the United States would invade the United States to liberate the United States from the tyranny of the United States.”

Also Read | Distressed to see violence in US, peaceful transfer of power must continue: PM Modi

Also Read | Trump supporters invade US Capitol in masses, 1 dies in firing, but Congress resumes to certify Biden win: 10 points

Also Read | US lawmakers reconvene in Capitol after riots, violence by Donald Trump supporters


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India Today

India Today is a weekly Indian English-language news magazine published by Living Media India Limited. It is the most widely circulated magazine in India, with a readership of close to 8 million. In 2014, India Today launched a new online opinion-orientated site called the DailyO.

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