Friday October 22nd, 2021 4:47AM

World leaders appalled by US rioting, urge peaceful transfer

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

TOKYO (AP) — Teargas and bullets in the U.S. Capitol building. Outrage and condemnation from leaders across the world.

“What is happening is wrong,” New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in a statement Thursday. “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.”

The chaotic scenes from the storming of the building at the center of American democracy by angry supporters of President Donald Trump are normally associated with countries where popular uprisings topple a hated dictator. The Arab Spring, for instance, or the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia.

But this time it was an attempt by American citizens to stop a peaceful transition to power after a democratic election in a country that many around the world have looked at as a model for democratic governance.

Some watching from abroad held Trump responsible.

“We must call this out for what it is: a deliberate assault on Democracy by a sitting President & his supporters, attempting to overturn a free & fair election! The world is watching! ” Irish Foreign and Defense Minister Simon Coveney said on Twitter.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was “saddened by the events at the U.S. Capitol,” spokesman Stephane Dujarric said. “In such circumstances, it is important that political leaders impress on their followers the need to refrain from violence, as well as to respect democratic processes and the rule of law.”

Several countries, both allies and antagonists of America, issued travel warnings to their citizens.

Australians were urged to avoid U.S. protests following what Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison described as “rather disturbing scenes” in the United States.

“The riots and protests that we’ve seen in Washington, D.C., have been terribly distressing. They are very concerning,” Morrison told reporters shortly after the U.S. Congress resumed proceedings late Wednesday Washington time.

“This is a difficult time for the United States, clearly. They’re a great friend of Australia, and they’re one of the world’s greatest democracies. And so ... our thoughts are with them and we hope for the peaceful transition to take place,” he said.

The Chinese Embassy in the United States also warned its citizens about the “grave” situation surrounding the coronavirus pandemic and the “large scale protest march” in Washington that prompted the city government to impose a curfew.

Shock and disgust marked the reactions of many world leaders.

“Disgraceful scenes in US Congress," tweeted Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain, a staunch U.S. ally for 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 friendly countries were similarly appalled at what they described as an attack on American democracy, though some said they believed U.S. democratic institutions would withstand the turmoil.

“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 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.

The prime minister of the world's largest democracy, India's Narendra Modi, said on Twitter: “Distressed to see news about rioting and violence in Washington DC. Orderly and peaceful transfer of power must continue. The democratic process cannot be allowed to be subverted through unlawful protests.”

Chilean President Sebastián Piñera and Colombian President Iván 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 U.S., 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 vigor to this threat to democracy.''

Venezuela, which is under U.S. 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 U.S. territory no longer wanted statehood. Independence, they said, looked appealing for the first time in decades.

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

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.


AP journalists from around the world contributed to this story.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP World News
© Copyright 2021
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Albert Roux, major influence on UK dining habits, dies at 85
Albert Roux, the French-born chef and restaurateur who along with his late brother Michel had a profound influence on British dining habits, has died at 85
10:42PM ( 4 minutes ago )
World leaders appalled by US rioting, urge peaceful transfer
World leaders are condemning the storming of the U.S. Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump
10:35PM ( 10 minutes ago )
Pritchard's putback pushes Celtics past Heat, 107-105
Payton Pritchard wasn’t there last season when the Boston Celtics lost to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference finals
10:20PM ( 25 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Chaos, violence, mockery as pro-Trump mob occupies Congress
It began as a day of reckoning for President Donald Trump’s futile attempt to cling to power, as Congress took up the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory
9:50PM ( 55 minutes ago )
The Latest: McCarthy likens Capitol riot to summer protests
House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy is comparing violence at the U.S. Capitol to protests against racial injustice over the summer after the killing of George Floyd
9:49PM ( 57 minutes ago )
Pro-Trump mob storms US Capitol in bid to overturn election
 Violent protesters loyal to President Donald Trump have been cleared from the U.S. Capitol after storming the building and forcing lawmakers into hiding
9:47PM ( 58 minutes ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
The Latest: Some GOP senators no longer plan Biden objection
Multiple Republican senators have reversed course and now say they won’t object to congressional certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory
8:55PM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Schumer says Jan. 6, 2021, will live in infamy
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer says President Donald Trump “bears a great deal of the blame” after a mob loyal to him stormed the U.S. Capitol
8:39PM ( 2 hours ago )
The Latest: Obama says violence at Capitol a moment of shame
Former President Barack Obama says history will rightly remember the violence at the Capitol as a moment of great dishonor and shame for the nation
8:21PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
The Latest: Mexico hits new daily high for coronavirus cases
Mexico has reported a new high for a daily increase in coronavirus cases, with 13,345 newly confirmed infections reported Wednesday for the previous 24 hours
9:29PM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: China locks down Hebei region for virus outbreak
New coronavirus cases in northern China’s Hebei province have more than doubled as officials move to lock down an area that is home to about 75 million people
8:25PM ( 2 hours ago )
The Latest: La. hospitals say COVID-19 cases filling beds
Louisiana hospitals warn that they are running dangerously short of beds because of the influx of COVID-19 patients and the situation is expected to worsen because of the holidays
7:20PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP World News
Albert Roux, major influence on UK dining habits, dies at 85
Albert Roux, the French-born chef and restaurateur who along with his late brother Michel had a profound influence on British dining habits, has died at 85
10:42PM ( 4 minutes ago )
Pritchard's putback pushes Celtics past Heat, 107-105
Payton Pritchard wasn’t there last season when the Boston Celtics lost to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference finals
10:20PM ( 25 minutes ago )
Biden urges restoring decency after 'assault' on democracy
President-elect Joe Biden is calling for the restoration of “simple decency” after a mob incited by his predecessor stormed the U.S. Capitol and delayed Congress from certifying Biden's election victory
10:19PM ( 26 minutes ago )
Fultz tears ACL, out for season; Magic beat Cavs 105-94
Former top overall draft pick Markelle Fultz tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee as his Orlando Magic went on to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 105-94
10:19PM ( 26 minutes ago )
The Latest: Senate rejects challenge to Biden Arizona win
The Senate has overwhelmingly turned aside a challenge to President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in Arizona, guaranteeing the result will stand
10:16PM ( 29 minutes ago )