Many world leaders condemned the pro-Trump protesters overrunning the U.S. Capitol building on Wednesday to protest the election of Joe Biden.
As images of tear gas being deployed inside the halls of Congress to quell the violence began making the rounds on social media, some of America’s closest allies expressed shock and dismay.
“Disgraceful scenes in U.S. Congress,” tweeted U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson. “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.”
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told the Toronto Star that the Canadian government was watching the situation “minute-by-minute.”
“Obviously we’re concerned and we’re following … the situation as it unfolds,” he said. “There is an important electoral process unfolding in the United States and I think we all want it and need it to unfold properly and peacefully. And so we certainly hope things will calm down.”
Jens Stoltenberg, the Secretary-General of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), tweeted, “Shocking scenes in Washington, D.C. The outcome of this democratic election must be respected.”
Josep Borrell Fontelles, the foreign policy chief of the European Union, also took to Twitter to claim that “This is not America.”
“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,” he wrote.
And he commended President-elect Biden, who addressed the nation on Wednesday afternoon to say “enough is enough is enough,” calling for an end to the unrest, and urging Trump to go on national TV to tell the protesters to leave.
Hundreds of Trump supporters began pushing through metal barricades at the back of the Capitol building about 1 p.m. Wednesday. They eventually breached the building and approached the Senate chamber, putting the presidential election confirmation on pause – and the entire Capitol complex on lockdown.
The Venezuelan government put out a statement expressing “concern over the acts of violence that are taking place in the city of Washington, USA.” It condemned the “political polarization” and shared hope that Americans “can blaze a new path toward stability and justice.”
Colombia President Ivan Duque wrote that his country has “full confidence in the solidity of the institutions of the United States of America, as well as in the values of respect for democracy and the rule of law shared by our countries.”
The Turkish state media Anadolu Agency released a statement saying, “Turkey invites all parties in US to use moderation, common sense to overcome this domestic political crisis. Turkey concerned over developments in US, urges calm and lawful solution to problems, says parliament head.”
Former French president François Hollande also shared a statement in French on Twitter, which when translated read: “This evening in Washington, democracy was the object of a coup. These scenes of chaos after the incumbent president’s irresponsible words are an offense to Democrats around the world. Support the American people who will face this outrageous attack on their institutions.”