France has condemned Wednesday’s violence at the U.S. Capitol as “a serious violation against democracy.”
Unlike many world leaders who used written statements to denounce the clashes in the U.S. Capitоl, France’s president, Emmanuel Macron, took the stage in a video posted on his Twitter account Thursday.
With the hashtag #WeareOne, and the French and U.S. flags behind him, Macron criticized “the supporters of a departing president who challenge, with arms, the legitimate results of the election.”
He spoke in French and addressed the American people directly in English.
“I just wanted to express our friendship and our faith in the United States. What happened today in Washington, D.C., is not America, definitely. We believe in the strength of our democracies. We believe in the strength of American democracy,” Macron said.
For hours, and late into the night Wednesday, French news channels had wall-to-wall coverage of the situation in Washington as many French viewed the images with shock.
For some, the events echoed what happened in France with the "Yellow vest" movement over economic issues and its riots in 2018 and 2019.
Many French politicians, including far-right leader Marine Le Pen and former President Francois Hollande spoke publicly about the clashes.
Agnes Firmin Le Bodo, a lawmaker and member of the French-American friendship group, described the images coming from inside and around the U.S. Capitol as shocking because the Capitol building, she said, is the symbol democracy. She said that when democracy is under attack in one country, democracies everywhere should be concerned.
French authorities said they were looking forward to working with President-elect Joe Biden and his new administration.