The UAE has rejected the statement of Josep Borrell, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, at the inauguration of the new European Diplomatic Academy in Belgium.
In a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, it disapproved Borrell’s remarks characterising them as racist and contributing to a worsening climate of intolerance and discrimination worldwide.
#UAE rejects comments by EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policyhttps://t.co/yDYTj36TAZ
— وزارة الخارجية والتعاون الدولي (@MoFAICUAE) October 17, 2022
Borrell called Europe “a garden” and most of the world a “jungle” that “could invade the garden.”
“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.
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.
The UAE has already summoned Emil Paulsen, the Acting Head of the Mission at the EU Delegation to the UAE, to provide an explanation of Josep Borrell’s comments last week.