UAE demands EU mission head to explain Borrell ‘racist’ comments

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The United Arab Emirates on Monday has summoned the acting head of the mission at the EU delegation to the UAE, to explain what it claimed to be racist comments made by EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell last week.

Borrell called Europe “a garden” and most of the world a “jungle” that “could invade the garden” in his remarks at the new European Diplomatic Academy in Bruges, Belgium, which have been widely circulated online since he made them last week.

“The gardeners should take care of the garden, but they will not protect the garden by building walls. A nice small garden surrounded by high walls in order to prevent the jungle coming in is not going to be a solution. Because the jungle has a strong growth capacity, and the wall will never be high enough,” said Borrell, a Spanish politician.

“The gardeners have to go to the jungle. Europeans have to be much more engaged with the rest of the world. Otherwise, the rest of the world will invade us,” he said.

The UAE foreign ministry said the remarks were “inappropriate and discriminatory” and “contribute to a worsening climate of intolerance and discrimination worldwide”, UAE state news agency (WAM) reported.

At a press conference on Monday, Borrell denied that his message was racist or colonialist, news agency EFE reported. The comments were intended to reject the idea of ‘fortress Europe’ and to encourage students to engage with the world, he said. (Source: Reuters)

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