Sunday 21 November 2010, 10:41
Disturbing conclusions from the U.S.: A senior government official has made astounding statements about the ban on minarets in Switzerland. Before the assembled world press, he explained clearly that the Federal Council was working to overturn the result of the referendum. The Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (EDA), according to the “Sonntag” newspaper, reacts with surprise.
In his statement as the head of the Human Rights Division in the U.S. State Department, Michael Posner, told the media the following on Wednesday, when the conversation turned to alleged harassment of Muslims in Western Europe
“The Government of Switzerland – and I’ve spoken repeatedly with their representatives -. Is now working hard to overturn the ban (on minarets.)”
In effect, this meant that Swiss Muslims would again have the right to build minarets, he said, according to the newspaper “Sonntag”.
The Swiss Embassy in Washington would, according to the Journal, not comment on this statement. Behind closed doors, it has been referred to as a likely misunderstanding – because ultimately the Swiss Federal Council does not have the legal means to ignore the result of a valid referendum.
The Swiss Foreign Ministry has learned about Mr. Posner’s statements, responded the spokeswoman Carole Wälti to “Sonntag”. Posner’s comments, that there have been efforts by the Swiss government to lift the ban on minarets, are baseless. There have also been “no talks held with Michael Posner,” added Wälti.