UAE rejects 'racist' comments by EU's Josep Borrell


The UAE has rejected the "racist" statement by Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, branding it as "inappropriate and discriminatory".

Making the statement at the inauguration of the new European Diplomatic Academy in Belgium, the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC) asserted that Borrell’s remarks "contributed to a worsening climate of intolerance and discrimination worldwide".

The UAE -  represented by the Director of the European Affairs Department, Mohamed AlShehi, and the Deputy Assistant Minister of Political Affairs, Reem Ketait - had also summoned Emil Paulsen, Acting Head of the Mission at the EU Delegation to the UAE, to provide an explanation of Borrell's comments.

"Borrell’s remarks are a disappointing development that comes at a time when all parties are aware of the importance of respect for other religions, cultures, and ethnic groups, as well as values such as pluralism, coexistence, and tolerance," national news agency WAM reported.

According to reports, Borrell called Europe "a garden" and most of the world a "jungle" that "could invade the garden".

Borrell later denied his message was racist or colonialist during a press conference on Monday, explaining that it was intended to "reject the idea of 'fortress Europe' and to encourage students to engage with the world".

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