Pete Hoekstra, the brand new US ambassador to the Netherlands, has admitted claiming in 2015 that Muslim youths had created so-called “no-go” zones within the nation and had been burning politicians.
Mr Hoekstra, a Republican congressman appointed to the envoy’s process by way of Donald Trump, remaining month denied making the claims, calling them “fake news”, regardless of being proven video proof.
Confronted by way of Dutch newshounds at a disastrous first press convention on Wednesday, he refused to resolution questions on his feedback.
On Friday Mr Hoekstra finally admitted to Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf that he had made the remarks, to a proper wing collecting in the USA, and mentioned he used to be “shocked” by way of them.
“That was a wrong statement. That was just wrong,” Mr Hoekstra mentioned, including that it used to be “clearly that was an inaccurate statement”.
“That one shocked me personally … because while you know there have been other issues in other countries in Europe, you know that has never been the circumstances here,” he mentioned.
The interview adopted an seek advice from by way of Mr Hoekstra to the low-income neighbourhood of Schilderswijk in The Hague, the place he met adolescence leaders and native citizens, together with Muslims, a US embassy reputable informed the AFP information company.
In a video clip that went viral in December, a Dutch journalist faced Mr Hoekstra with photos of him talking in the USA in 2015.
“The Islamic movement has now gotten to a point where they have put Europe into chaos, chaos in the Netherlands, there are cars being burned, there are politicians that are being burned,” Mr Hoekstra mentioned.
Asked about his response to the Mr Hoekstra’s remarks and his appointment, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte mentioned he disagreed however sought after to construct “viable” ties with the USA management.
“No I don’t agree, but I’m not going to comment on the comments. But I don’t agree,” Mr Rutte informed newshounds. He mentioned the ambassador used to be “an intelligent man” who “had instructions from Washington to repair the misunderstanding”.
The US State Department distanced itself from Mr Hoekstra’s feedback on Thursday. “The ambassador made mistakes in 2015, made comments that should not have been made,” Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs Steve Goldstein mentioned.
“Those comments were not the position of the State Department and you will never hear those words from this podium or in any form,” he mentioned.