Wednesday, 20 June, 2018

U.S. envoy clashes with Dutch reporters in 'no-go areas' row

Pete Hoekstra new U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands gives a statement during a press conference at his residence in The Hague Netherlands Wednesday Jan. 10 2018 US Ambassador to Netherlands Clashes with Dutch Reporters Over Remarks About Muslims
Faye Gross | 12 January, 2018, 03:21

U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands Pete Hoekstra went silent Wednesday after Dutch journalists pressed him about his 2015 claim that politicians and cars had been burned by Muslims there, the New York Times reported.

The new USA ambassador to the Netherlands refused on Wednesday to explain his 2015 comments that Muslims had brought chaos to the country "burning cars and politicians", as he took up his post.

"If you're truly an honest and wise man, could you please take back the remark about burned politicians or name the politician that was burned in the Netherlands?" the reporter asked. Chaos in the Netherlands, there are cars being burned, there are politicians that are being burned.

On Wednesday, despite being repeatedly asked at a heated news conference at his residence in The Hague, Hoekstra refused to say whether he still stood by his views.

Peter Hoekstra, the newly minted USA ambassador to the Netherlands, held his first conference with the Dutch media at his new residence in the Hague on Wednesday.

"The ambassador made mistakes in 2015, made comments that should not have been made. And yes, there are no-go zones in the Netherlands".

After at least one person had asked the question, Geeraedts followed up to ask Hoekstra about a John Adams quote - Adams was the United States' first ambassador to Holland - that was mounted right behind the ambassador. Shortly after that, in the same interview, Mr. Hoekstra denied having used the term "fake news". "He's been received well by the Dutch government, and we hope that he can be received well by the people of the Netherlands".

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But a video of Hoekstra's appearance at a 2015 conference in Charleston, South Carolina, hosted by the David Horowitz Freedom Center, is available online.

"The Islamic movement has now gotten to a point where they have put Europe into chaos", Hoekstra had said during a recorded panel discussion about migration from Muslim countries.

But when the clip was played for him, the Dutch-born ambassador then denied accusing his interviewer on camera just moments before of "fake news".

In a statement previous year, Hoekstra said: "I made certain remarks in 2015 and regret the exchange during the Nieuwsuur interview. Please accept my apology".

The other was the USA media.

In his first news conference with reporters since being named ambassador by President Donald Trump, the former Michigan GOP lawmaker was asked no less than a half-dozen questions about a claim that he never substantiated, the Times reported. On another far-right show, Hoekstra said he had considered the possibility that President Barack Obama might be intentionally aiding the rise of Muslim extremists.

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