Ardern, world leaders react to chaos in DC

World leaders have expressed their shock as supporters of US President Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol building where Congress meets in a bid to overturn the results of the November 3 election won by Joe Biden.

Here are reactions from around the world:

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Photo: ODT files
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Photo: ODT files
NEW ZEALAND

New Zealand Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta posted on Twitter: "Our thoughts are with the American people. Violence has no place in thwarting democracy. We look forward to the peaceful transition of the political administration, which is the hallmark of democracy."

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern then added her own statement on Twitter.

"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.

"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."

SWEDEN

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven in a tweet described the scenes as "an attack on democracy". "President Trump and many members of Congress bear significant responsibility for what's now taking place. The democratic process of electing a president must be respected."

UNITED KINGDOM

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a tweet called the events in the U.S. Congress a "disgrace", saying the United States stood for democracy around the world and that was it was "vital" now that there should be a peaceful and orderly transfer of power.

Boris Johnson. Photo: Getty Images
Boris Johnson. Photo: Getty Images

GERMANY

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said democracy's enemies would be cheered by scenes of violence at the United States Capitol, and he called on Trump to accept U.S. voters' decision.

In a Tweet, Maas said the violence had been caused by inflammatory rhetoric. "Trump and his supporters must accept the decision of American voters at last and stop trampling on democracy."

RUSSIA

"Quite Maidan-style pictures are coming from DC," Russia's deputy U.N. Ambassador Dmitry Polyanskiy posted on Twitter, referring to protests in Ukraine that toppled Russian-backed President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovich in 2014.

"Some of my friends ask whether someone will distribute crackers to the protesters to echo Victoria Nuland stunt," he said, citing a 2013 visit to Ukraine when then-U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland offered food to protesters.

UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY-GENERAL

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was "saddened" by the events at the U.S. Capitol, his spokesman 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," U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.

AUSTRALIA

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison described the scenes in Washington as "distressing." "We condemn these acts of violence and look forward to a peaceful transfer of Government to the newly elected administration in the great American democratic tradition," he posted on Twitter.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

NATO

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg called the violent protests in Washington "shocking scenes" and said the outcome of the democratic U.S. election must be respected.

SPAIN

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said in a tweet: "I am following with concern the news that are coming from Capitol Hill in Washington. I trust in the strength of America's democracy.

"The new Presidency of @JoeBiden will overcome this time of tension, uniting the American people."

CANADA

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed his concern about events in Washington. "Obviously we're concerned and we're following the situation minute by minute," Trudeau told the News 1130 Vancouver radio station. "I think the American democratic institutions are strong, and hopefully everything will return to normal shortly."

Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne on Twitter: "Canada is deeply shocked by the situation in Washington DC. The peaceful transition of power is fundamental to democracy - it must continue and it will. We are following developments closely and our thoughts are with the American people."

Canadian Prime Minister  Justin Trudeau. Photo: Reuters
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Photo: Reuters

FINLAND

Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin said in a statement: "The attack on Capitol Hill in Washington DC is a very serious and worrying matter. It shows how important it is to firmly and strongly defend democracy at all times."

FRANCE

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Twitter: "The violence against the American institutions is a grave attack on democracy. I condemn it. The will and the vote of the American people must be respected."

TURKEY

Turkey's foreign ministry issued a statement expressing concern about the violence and called for calm and common sense while urging its citizens to avoid crowds and the protest area.

Tayyip Erdogan. Photo: Reuters
Tayyip Erdogan. Photo: Reuters

EUROPEAN UNION

Charles Michel, chairman of EU leaders, on Twitter expressed his shock at the scenes in Washington. "The US Congress is a temple of democracy...We trust the US to ensure a peaceful transfer of power to @JoeBiden"

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said: "I believe in the strength of US institutions and democracy. Peaceful transition of power is at the core. @JoeBiden won the election. I look forward to working with him as the next President of the USA."

VENEZUELA

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza tweeted: "Venezuela expresses its concern for the violent events that are taking place in the city of Washington, USA; condemns the political polarization and hopes that the American people will open a new path toward stability and social justice."

NORWAY

Norwegian Prime Minster Erna Solberg posted on Twitter: "This is an unacceptable attack on the U.S. democracy. President Trump is responsible for stopping this. Scary images, and unbelievable that this is happening in the United States."

IRELAND

Ireland's foreign minister Simon Coveney called the scenes in Washington "a deliberate assault on Democracy by a sitting President & his supporters, attempting to overturn a free & fair election! The world is watching! We hope for restoration of calm."

ARGENTINA

Argentine President Alberto Fernandez tweeted: "We express our condemnation of the serious acts of violence and the affront to Congress that occurred today in Washington DC. We trust that there will be a peaceful transition that respects the popular will and we express our strongest support for President-elect Joe Biden."

Comments

View all

Who wrote this article

Four years. From being the country regarded as "leader of the free world" to this, a cot case, a banana republic. Absolutely appalling.

This is what you should expect from 74 million Americans who think the election was stolen. There is ample evidence, none published in the OD. The deep state has blocked Trump from presenting the evidence. People need to feel like their voice matters. Pelosi and the democrats have prevented that. There were antagonists in the protesters stirring things up. The media is just as much to blame with the fake news they constantly report. Stop lecturing us about what occurred in DC. Until the 74 million get an accounting for the election fraud expect to see more protest against sleepy joe! The lefties have been planning this for years. Now they have what they have been asking for.

Wow....just wow.

I'm trying to figure out if cranky is an American who happens to read the ODT or a kiwi who has been caught up in the impeached ex presidents cult. Either way every word of the above is patently utter nonsense. Cranky repeats elements of all the currently in vogue conspiracy theories, claiming there is evidence to support them but presenting none of it. The evidence that does exist shows the USA election was free and fair. All evidence claimed to show otherwise has been roundly rejected by the USA court system as nonsense. Even die hard Trump supporters like Lindsay Graham are now rejecting Trump's lies. Yes people need to feel their voice matters but how has Pelosi and the democrats prevented that? How have the lefties been planning this for years? The 74m have had their accounting and that From Republican states who were working to meet Trump's agenda, yes there were antagonists in the protest stirring things up, the main one being Trump himself. The others were known right wing activists. None have been identified as lefties. The reports in this article are not fake. They are real responses from world leaders.

When the BLM protesters looted, burned , and attacked police stations and court houses, where was the great leaders reaction to that????

Why is the NZ media so biased??

"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" yeah so not increasing benefit levels so people can live with dignity means nothing to you then.

Really? This is what you get out of this story? Pathetic.
Take some responsibility for your own life. Give your bootstraps a good pull. Get an education. If there are no jobs in your area move somewhere there are jobs. Stop looking to the taxpayer to fund a lifestyle for you that we can't afford. Grow up.

View all

Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter