Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
World | By Melba Underwood

US Ambassador to Netherlands Dodges 'No-go Zones' Questions

US Ambassador to Netherlands Dodges 'No-go Zones' Questions

The new US ambassador to the Netherlands made mistakes and feels great remorse for falsely saying two years ago that Muslim migrants had "burned" politicians and created "no-go zones" in Holland, a State Department official said on Thursday. The clash was over comments he made in 2015 when he said Muslims had created chaos throughout Europe and accused them of "burning cars and politicians" in the Netherlands.

Mr Hoekstra is a former Republican congressman from MI who was born in the Netherlands.

One reporter told him: "'This is the Netherlands, you have to answer questions, ' while another asked if the ambassador could name a politician who had been set on fire in recent years".

"This is the Netherlands, you have to answer questions", another said, as Mr. Hoekstra remained silent. Hoekstra refused to answer the question, but the brutal interrogation wasn't over.

"I'm not revisiting the issue", Hoekstra said Wednesday.

Hoekstra told reporters he regretted the exchange with Dutch television denying the remarks but declined to comment further.

"The ambassador made mistakes in 2015, made comments that should not have been made". Hoekstra falsely claimed to Zwart that he had never made the remarks and called them "fake news".

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He takes up the post as USA envoy left vacant for two years, and as immigration is set to again be a hot-button issue in the Dutch local elections due on March 21.

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.

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.

Hoekstra said in 2015: "The Islamic movement has now gotten to a point where they have put Europe into chaos". Later, after being played a recording of his comment, he denied calling it fake news.

He later apologized, saying in a tweet on December 23: "I made certain remarks in 2015 and regret the exchange during the Nieuwsuur interview".

The other was the US media.

According to a report from The Washington Post, reporters repeatedly asked Hoekstra to offer proof of his claim that politicians and cars have been burned and that there are "no-go zones" in the Netherlands. He said Hoekstra also was expected to visit various Dutch communities over the weekend, including Muslim communities.

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