Mixed reactions of shock, sadness and sarcasm continue to be heard from around the world over Wednesday’s storming of the U.S. Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump angry over his loss in November’s presidential election.
“What happened today in Washington, D.C., is not America,” French President Emmanuel Macron said in a video message on Twitter late Wednesday. “We believe in the strength of our democracies. We believe in the strength of American democracy."
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was “distressed” to see the “rioting and violence” in Washington in a statement issued on his Twitter account. “Orderly and peaceful transfer of power must continue. The democratic process cannot be allowed to be subverted through unlawful protests.”
Taiwan’s Foreign Affairs Ministry expressed regret over the violence in a statement issued Thursday. The ministry said it had sent out an emergency notice to Taiwanese citizens “to raise their level of alertness and pay attention to safety” in regards to the curfew imposed by local Washington officials.
Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokesman Zahid Hafeez Choudhri told reporters Thursday the government is closely following the developments in Washington. "We are hopeful that the situation will soon normalize and would not in any way impact the ongoing transition process,” Choudhri said.
Raoof Hasan, a special assistant to Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, told VOA the images of pro-Trump extremists forcing their way into the House of Representatives and Senate chambers as lawmakers were certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory proves the United States “commands little moral legitimacy to be commenting on democratic principles obtaining in other countries. “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,” Hasan said on Twitter.
Shariman Lockman, a senior foreign policy and security studies analyst with the Institute of Strategic and International Studies in Malaysia, told VOA the riot “doesn’t put America in the best light.” “It just compounds negative thoughts that people already have about America. You know, you can't get COVID right and you can't get your elections right. You [the U.S. government] keep telling us how to organize ourselves, but you can't organize yourselves right."
In South Korea, senior lawmaker Song Young-gil, a member of South Korea’s ruling Democratic Party, said in a Facebook post the incident “revealed the shameful side of the United States.” “This kind of behavior can be exploited by dictatorships who want to justify their behavior,” added Song, who did not elaborate. “I look forward to seeing the United States restore its system.”
“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,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wrote on Twitter.
European Union officials indicated their support for Biden on Wednesday, as pro-Trump extremists forced Capitol Hill into lockdown, interrupting the certification of Biden’s presidential victory.
“I believe in the strength of US institutions and democracy. Peaceful transition of power is at the core. @JoeBiden won the election,” Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, wrote on Twitter.
"The outcome of this democratic election must be respected,” NATO Chief Jens Stoltenberg wrote on Twitter.
Turkey’s Foreign Ministry released a statement Wednesday urging its citizens in the United States to avoid crowded places and confrontations.
“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,” it wrote in a statement.
The Organization of American States also condemned the mobs.
The exercise of force and vandalism against the institutions constitutes a serious attack against democratic functioning,” the OAS General Secretariat on Incidents wrote in a statement Wednesday, urging a return to “much-needed rationality.”
In a televised speech Thursday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said events at the U.S. Capitol Wednesday are evidence Western democracy is fragile and vulnerable to populism. He said, “A populist has arrived, and he has led his country to disaster over these past four years."
Rohani added he hoped “the next occupants of the White House” will “restore the country to a position worthy of the American nation, because the American nation is a great nation."