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2006-02-25

The Netherlands have been critical of Solana's apologetic behaviour: Netherlands blasts Solana on alleged cartoon apologies

The Netherlands has sharply criticised EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana for the allegedly apologetic tone he has used when facing muslim countries in the row over Danish cartoons depicting the prophet Mohammed.

Dutch foreign minister Bernard Bot has put in a protest to Mr Solana objecting to remarks he made last week during his tour around muslim countries, a Dutch spokesman confirmed.

Among other things, the EU's top foreign policy official said after meeting the leader of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIS), Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu "I expressed our sincere regret that religious feelings have been hurt", vowing "to reach out...to make sure that people’s hearts and minds are not hurt again." [. . .]


Now the Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Per Stig Møller, asks Holland to be quiet (Danish article, my translation):

The Danish government has taken an unusual diplomatic step and asked Holland's government to change their tune and subdue themselves in the high tension strife about the Mohammed drawings in order to avoid further escalating the conflict.

So says Holland's minister of foreign affairs, Bernard Bot. He informed the Dutch parliament yesterday that the foreign minister Per Stig Møller has called him and asked him not to »rummage about in the case anymore.«

The Danish application comes in the wake of Bernhard Bot this week having sharply criticized EU's Foreign Policy Coordinator Javier Solana, for using a far too apologetic tone when facing the Muslim leaders, whom Solana met during his conciliatory tour in the Middle East last week.

A majority of the Dutch parliament has subsequently asked Bernard Bot to repeat the criticism of Solana on a foreign ministers' meeting Monday in Brussels, where the 25 EU-countries are to adopt a difficult declaration in relation to the strife about the 12 prophet drawings from Jyllands-Posten.

But following the application from Copenhagen, Bernhard Bot will no longer raise any criticism. He told the Dutch parliament, that »it would be unwise,« wrote the national Dutch news bureau yesterday evening.


So much for our current minister of foreign affairs - and if you think that's bad, you should see our previous minister of foreign affairs, Niels Helveg Petersen. He had a private meeting with imam Ahmed Akkari and Helveg criticized Denmark during imam meeting (Danish text)

A few days later Helveg Petersen was quoted in the Saudi newspaper, Al Watan, as saying that »in the last five years there has been an ill-natured attack against Muslims« (5 years - because Helveg Petersen was foreign minister until 21. December 2000) and that »these ignominious cartoons against Islam are a part of this attack«.

Niels Helveg Petersen is also quoted for a sharp criticism against Jyllands-Posten for having brought the drawings. At the same time he charges the imams with having brought the conflict outside Denmark, but he is quoted as saying »that he understood their behaviour and anger«.

The enemy has long ears. How can a former minister of foreign affairs act so irresponsibly?

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