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World leaders weigh in on Capitol riot

World leaders weigh in on Capitol riot
© Julia Nikhinson

Political leaders from Canada, Belgium, England and other countries called for calm while weighing in on the droves of rioters that were seen storming the Capitol on Wednesday to protest the presidential election results.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin TrudeauJustin Pierre James TrudeauReturning vaccinated Canadians will be exempt from quarantine Border closures with Canada, Mexico extended through July 21 US-Canada border restrictions extended until July 21 MORE tweeted that his nation was “deeply disturbed and saddened by the attack on democracy in the United States.” Violence, Trudeau said, will “never succeed in overruling the will of the people.” 

“Democracy in the US must be upheld - and it will be,” he continued.

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Former Belgian Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès said she was “closely following what is happening in Washington” and called images that have come out of the violent demonstrations on Wednesday “shocking.”

“They show the extent of President-elect BidenJoe BidenMilitary must better understand sexual assaults to combat them The Hill's Equilibrium — Presented by NextEra Energy — Tasmanian devil wipes out penguin population On The Money: Democrats make full-court press on expanded child tax credit | White House confident Congress will raise debt ceiling MORE's task, which will be to unite American society around a common project. We trust him to do that,” she continued, while also saying the images “hurt our democratic ideals.” 

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“Disgraceful scenes in U.S. Congress,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted. “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.”

In a statements seen by the BBC, the Turkish foreign ministry said it invites “all parties” in the country to show "restraint and common sense,” while the Venezuelan government said, with the “regrettable episode” seen Wednesday, the United States “suffers the same thing that it has generated in other countries with its policies of aggression.”

“Like so many others, I’ve been watching what’s happening in the United States. I share the sentiment of friends in the US - what is happening is wrong,” New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern tweeted.

“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. Our thoughts are with everyone who is as devastated as we are by the events of today. I have no doubt democracy will prevail,” she continued.

Former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull described Wednesday’s events at the Capitol as “mob violence” that he said was “the culmination of Trump’s sustained assault on American democracy.”

Turnbull also wrote on Twitter that the president’s “supporters in the GOP and the media should reflect on what they have enabled.”

Ecuador President Lenín Moreno said the nation rejects “the acts of violence perpetrated” in Washington and added that, in a democracy, the “recognition of the will of the citizens is imperative.”

“An attack on Capitol Hill is an attack on democracy. We are witnessing disturbing scenes of violence in Washington DC. Liberty, democracy and decency must be respected,” Iceland Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir tweeted.

The European Parliament's president, David Sassoli, said the scenes from the Capitol on Wednesday were “deeply concerning” and that “Democratic votes must be respected.” 

“We are certain the US will ensure that the rules of democracy are protected,” he added.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez also weighed in on the riot at the Capitol in a statement obtained by the BBC, expressing hope that the “new presidency of Joe Biden will overcome this tense stage, uniting the American people.”

“I have trust in the strength of US democracy,” he added.

Thousands of Trump supporters flocked to the District this week to protest the November election results as Congress geared up to certify the Electoral College vote.

The Capitol was placed on lockdown Wednesday as demonstrations outside grew more violent and rioters stormed the building’s grounds, some clashing with local police.

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Washington Metropolitan Police Department said it arrested at least 13 people on Wednesday amid the riots. A woman was also pronounced dead later on Wednesday after reportedly being shot in the chest during the riot.

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have condemned the violence.

Trump also took to Twitter to urge his supporters to be peaceful and leave the Capitol in a video. But he also promoted disputed claims about the election in the clip, which social media companies enacted restrictions on not long after to avoid inciting more violence.

Updated: 9:30 p.m.

CORRECTION: Sophie Wilmès is the former prime minister of Belgium. An earlier version of this story included incorrect information.