Canada’s Justin Trudeau, the UK’s Boris Johnson and Australian PM Scott Morrison are among those to have publicly commented.

World leaders have condemned the storming of the US Capitol building in Washington, with many expressing their shock and outrage.

Such chaotic scenes might normally be associated with the toppling of a dictator, but this was an attempt by American citizens to stop a peaceful transition to power after a democratic election.

One woman was killed after being shot by security, while three others died following medical emergencies.

Leaders around the world issued statements or posted on social media during and after the chaos.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres “is saddened by the events at the US Capitol,” spokesman Stephane Dujarric 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.”

“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.”

“The riots and protests that we’ve seen in Washington, DC, have been terribly distressing. They are very concerning,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters.

“This is a difficult time for the United States, clearly. They’re a great friend of Australia, and they’re one of the world’s greatest democracies. And so… our thoughts are with them and we hope for the peaceful transition to take place,” he said.

Jens Stoltenberg tweeted: “Shocking scenes in Washington, DC. The outcome of this democratic election must be respected.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his country was “deeply disturbed” by the events in the US, Canada’s closest ally and neighbour.

“Violence will never succeed in overruling the will of the people. Democracy in the US must be upheld – and it will be,” Mr Trudeau tweeted.

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.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the storming was “a disgraceful act that must be vigorously condemned”.

Calling the incident in Washington a “rampage” during televised joint remarks with visiting US Treasury SecretarySteve Mnuchin, Mr Netanyahu said he had “no doubt that “American democracy will prevail”, adding: “It always has.”

“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.”

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.

“In this sad episode in the US, supporters of fascism showed their real face: anti-democratic and aggressive,” tweeted Luis Roberto Barroso, Brazilian Supreme Court justice and the head of the country’s electoral court.

He said he hoped “American society and institutions react with vigour to this threat to democracy.”

Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed anger and blamed the violence on the fact the US president has failed to recognise his defeat to Democrat Joe Biden.

“We all saw yesterday the unsettling pictures of the storming of the US Congress and these pictures made me angryand also sad,” Ms Merkel told a meeting of German conservatives.

“What happened today in Washington DC is not American, definitely,” 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.

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.”

© 2021 Sky UK

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News – ‘Disgraceful’ and ‘distressing’: World leaders react to storming of US Capitol