World leaders on Wednesday expressed their shock as supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump stormed in Washington the U.S. Capitol building where Congress meets in an attempt to overturn the results of the Nov. 3 election won by Joe Biden.
Here are reactions from around the world as reported by Reuters:
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.
The Chinese embassy issued an advisory on its website on Wednesday warning Chinese citizens to strengthen safety precautions in light of a "large-scale demonstration" in Washington D.C. and a curfew announced by the local government.
"We decline to comment on President Trump's political style as this is about U.S. domestic affairs," Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato told reporters.
"But we hope to see democracy in the United States overcome this difficult situation, calmness and harmony regained, and a peaceful and democratic transfer of power."
"Since its independence, America, our great and true friend, has been a beacon of democracy, and stood for the values of freedom, justice and independence," Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi said on Twitter. "I am sure that the American people and their elected representatives will know how to fend off this attack and will continue to defend the values on which the United States was founded."
"What happened today in Washington DC is not American, definitely," French President Emmanuel Macron said in a video message on Twitter.
"We believe in the strength of our democracies. We believe in the strength of American democracy," he said, speaking in English.
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.
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."
"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.
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.
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."
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.
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."
"What happened in USA is unacceptable and unprecedented attack on democracy," Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis said on Twitter. "Transition of power needs to be smooth and peaceful.I firmly believe that these incidents should cease."
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."
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." /Compiled by argumentum.al