Belgian leaders - alongside the rest of the world - have taken to Twitter late on Wednesday evening to react to violent riots in Washington DC.
In statements ranging from emotional to wordless, politicians from across the country commented on the incident, which saw pro - Trump protesters fight their way past police to breach the US Capitol, demanding that the results of the presidential election be overturned.
Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo condemned violent riots at and around the US Capitol building, taking the time to restate his support for President-elect Joe Biden.
Tweeting in French, Minister-President of Wallonia Elio Di Rupo called the situation on Capitol Hill is "terrifying." "Let us never forget that democracy and freedoms won remain fragile. The democratic process and institutions must, in all circumstances, be respected," he tweeted.
Shock and disbelief at ongoing events at the US Capitol, symbol of American democracy.We trust the strong institutions of the United States will overcome this challenging moment. Full support to President-elect @joebiden. — Alexander De Croo (@alexanderdecroo) January 6, 2021
Jan Jambon, Minister-President of Flanders tweeted in Dutch "Astonishing what's going on in Washington. Totally unworthy of a democracy. I hope that peace will soon return to the United States."
La situation au Capitole est terrifiante. N’oublions jamais que la démocratie et les libertés conquises restent fragiles. Le processus et les institutions démocratiques doivent, en toutes circonstances, être respectées. pic.twitter.com/8ZJOYJlyKK— Elio Di Rupo (@eliodirupo) January 6, 2021
Brussels Mayor Philippe Close said the American people deserved better. "The American people are great and deserve better than what is going on. We also have to draw our conclusions about the current populistic tendencies in our democracies. Let's remain vigilant and act for the greater good. #Capitol"
Verbijsterend wat zich afspeelt in Washington. Een democratie totaal onwaardig. Ik hoop dat de rust snel weerkeert in de Verenigde Staten.— Jan Jambon (@JanJambon) January 6, 2021
Mayor of Antwerp and leader of the NVA party Bart De Wever went for a wordless reaction - tweeting the US flag emoji alongside a video from Ronald Regan's inauguration - drawing criticism in the comments that he had not said more.
Het Amerikaanse volk is groots en verdient beter dan wat er gaande is. We moeten er ook conclusies uit trekken over de huidige populistische sfeer die heerst binnen onze democratieën. Laten we waakzaam blijven en handelen voor het algemeen goed.#Capitol— Philippe Close (@PhilippeClose) January 6, 2021
European Council President Charles Michel - another former Belgian PM - too was shocked by events.
Closely following what is happening in Washington DC. These images are shocking, also because they hurt our democratic ideals. They show the extent of President-elect Biden's task, which will be to unite American society around a common project. We trust him to do that.— Sophie Wilmès (@Sophie_Wilmes) January 6, 2021
Jules Johnston The Brussels Times
The US Congress is a temple of democracy.To witness tonight’s scenes in #WashingtonDC is a shock. We trust the US to ensure a peaceful transfer of power to @JoeBiden — Charles Michel (@eucopresident) January 6, 2021