PM condemns US rioters ahead of inauguration

 

It was "very disappointing" insurrectionists were "encouraged" to storm the US Capitol resulting in a deadly riot, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has declared.

Mr Morrison said his strong condemnation of the violence "echoed" the remarks of other world leaders, though he did not specifically name President Donald Trump as a source of the incident.

"I think it was disappointing, very disappointing that things were allowed to get … to that stage," he told 2GB.

"The things that were said that encouraged others to come to the Capitol and engage in that way were incredibly disappointing, very disappointing. And the outcomes were terrible."

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the government is preparing for US President elect Joe Biden to take office. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Martin Ollman
Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the government is preparing for US President elect Joe Biden to take office. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Martin Ollman

 

The Prime Minister, who returned to work on Monday after a week-long holiday on the NSW coast, will travel to Queensland on Tuesday on a four-day regional trip.

Mr Morrison said the government had been doing a "lot of work behind the scenes" to prepare for President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration.

"I spoke to him, not long after the election," he said.

"You have to wait until people are formally sworn in, but we've been doing a lot of work behind the scenes."

Mr Morrison said the US was "very important" to Australia and the Asia Pacific region.

"(I'm) looking forward to (the US) uniting and moving on from these … terrible last few months," he said.

"It's very important that we come together in that way and we'll be doing everything we can to support that and encourage that outcome."

Asked about the revelation several elderly Norwegian recipients of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine had died, Mr Morrison said it highlighted why Australia had been "prudent" in its processes.

"There's been no delays, we've been moving as quickly as we possibly can, but equally there's been no rush," he said.

"There's been no corners cut."

Mr Morrison said the Norwegian deaths were "distressing" but not necessarily a cause for alarm in the context of the total number of people vaccinated safely.

Responding to the community backlash over tennis players and teams being allowed to travel to Melbourne from overseas ahead of the Australian Open, Mr Morrison said no returning Australians had been prevented from coming home as a result of the sport event.

"(Returning Australians') places are not being taken by a tennis player," he said.

"This is one of those things, you try to keep the balance of keeping things going forward as normal as you can, but obviously it has to happen under some rather extraordinary rules and arrangements."

Mr Morrison said it was not his "job" to be "critical" of how premiers have handled state borders, but added Victoria must be "accountable" for explaining why it remained shut to NSW.

Originally published as PM condemns US rioters ahead of inauguration



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