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World leaders condemn 'horrifying' riot at US Capitol building

Posted January 6, 2021 4:49 p.m. EST
Updated January 6, 2021 5:01 p.m. EST

— World leaders and top diplomats have issued strong condemnations of rioters who stormed the US Capitol building in Washington on Wednesday, some pressing President Donald Trump to call off the violence.

Trump supporters breached the Capitol and one woman was shot when a protest spiraled out of control, interrupting Congress's count of electoral votes to certify President-elect Joe Biden's win. Biden is due to assume the presidency later this month.

The violence erupted after Trump spoke to protesters to repeat his false claim that he won the US election in November. World leaders around the world reacted with concern online, describing the chaotic scenes as "shocking" and "disgraceful."

Here's what they said:

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson: "Disgraceful scenes in U.S. 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," UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a tweet.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg: "Shocking scenes in Washington, D.C. The outcome of this democratic election must be respected."

Turkish Foreign Ministry: "We are following the domestic developments with concern that took place after the US Presidential elections and demonstrator's attempt to raid the Congress building today. We invite all parties in the USA to temperance and common sense. We believe that the USA will overcome this domestic political crisis in maturity. We recommend that our citizens in the USA stay away from crowded places and places where shows are held."

European Parliament President David Sassoli: "Deeply concerning scenes from the US Capitol tonight. Democratic votes must be respected. We are certain the US will ensure that the rules of democracy are protected."

Icelandic Foreign Minister Gudlaugur Thor: "Shocking scenes in #WashingtonDC. Any attacks on #democratic institutions and undermining of rule of law should be condemned. Outcome of democratic elections must be respected."

Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg: "What we are now seeing from Washington is a completely unacceptable attack on democracy in the United States. President Trump is responsible for stopping this. Scary pictures, and amazing that this is the United States."

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon: "The scenes from the Capitol are utterly horrifying. Solidarity with those in the United States on the side of democracy and the peaceful and constitutional transfer of power. Shame on those who have incited this attack on democracy."

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez: "Following with concern the news coming from the Capitol in Washington. I am confident in the strength of America's democracy. The new presidency of @JoeBiden will overcome the stage of tension, uniting the American people."

The Organization of American States: "The exercise of force and vandalism against the institutions constitutes a serious attack against democratic functioning. We urge a return to much-needed rationality and a conclusion of the electoral process in accordance with the Constitution and the corresponding institutional procedures."

European Union High Representative Josep Borrell: "In the eyes of the world, American democracy tonight appears under siege. This is an unseen assault on US democracy, its institutions and the rule of law. This is not America."

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte: "Horrible images from Washington D.C. Dear Donald Trump, recognise Joe Biden as the next president today."

Austrian Prime Minister Sebastian Kurz: "Shocked by the scenes in Washington, D.C. This is an unacceptable assault on democracy. A peaceful and orderly transfer of power must be ensured."

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian: "Violence against the American institutions is a grave attack against democracy. I condemn it. The will and the vote of the American people must be respected."

President of the European Council Charles Michel: "The US Congress is a temple of democracy. To witness tonight's scenes in #WashingtonDC is a shock. We trust the US to ensure a peaceful transfer of power to Joe Biden."

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