World leaders have condemned the violent scenes in Washington, where rioters supporting US President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol building.
The action forced the suspension of a joint session of Congress to certify Joe Biden’s electoral victory.
Many leaders called for peace and an orderly transition of power, describing what happened as “horrifying” and an “attack on democracy”.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson condemned the “disgraceful scenes”.
“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,” he wrote on Twitter.
Other UK politicians joined him in criticising the violence, with opposition leader Sir Keir Starmer calling it a “direct attack on democracy”.
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted that the scenes from the Capitol were “utterly horrifying”.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said: “I have trust in the strength of US democracy. The new presidency of Joe Biden will overcome this tense stage, uniting the American people.”
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian condemned the “grave attack against democracy” and the president of the European Parliament, David Sassoli, described the violent scenes as “deeply concerning”.
Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg joined those in saying that the outcome of the election “must be respected”.
In Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was following the situation “minute by minute”.
“I think the American democratic institutions are strong, and hopefully everything will return to normal shortly,” he told the News 1130 Vancouver radio station.
Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne wrote on Twitter that Canada was “deeply shocked” by the situation.
“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,” he added.
The Turkish foreign ministry said it invited “all parties” to show “restraint and common sense”.
The Venezuelan government said that “with this regrettable episode, the United States experiences the same thing that it has generated in other countries with its policies of aggression”.