LONDON (AP) — Anger erupted in Europe on Saturday about U.S. President Donald Trump’s ban on refugees entering the United States.
The French president vigorously urged European leaders to present a united front against populism while the German foreign minister noted that “love thy neighbor” is a key part of America’s Christian traditions. Turkey’s prime minister insisted that “you cannot settle this issue by building walls.”
In Israel, meanwhile, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu greeted Trump’s plan to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border as a “great idea.”
FRENCH PRESIDENT FRANCOIS HOLLANDE
“Europe is facing a moment of truth. The issue is populism. What we are hearing from the U.S. encourages populism and even extremism. They are saying that Europe should not take immigrants, shouldn’t stay together, not believe in climate change.
“We should engage in discussions (with the U.S.) that sometimes should be very firm. And as long as there are statements from the U.S. president about Europe, when he speaks about the model of Brexit for other countries, when the U.S. president talks about climate change … saying he’s not convinced of it, we should respond to him. When he takes protectionist measures, we should respond to him. When he destabilizes the economies of other countries, not only European ones, we should respond to him. When he rejects the arrival of refugees, while Europe has done its duty, we should respond to him.”
ISRAEL PRESIDENT BENJAMIN NETANYAHU
Netanyahu tweeted that Israel’s wall along its border with Egypt had stemmed a swell of African migrants: “President Trump is right. I built a wall along Israel’s southern border. It stopped all illegal immigration. Great success. Great idea.”
TURKISH PRIME MINISTER BINALI YILDIRIM
“You cannot settle this (refugee) issue by building walls. Nobody leaves their homes for nothing.”
Turkey has admitted some 3 million Syrian refugees since the start of the war in its neighbor.
“They came here to save their lives and our doors were open. And if the same thing happened again, we would do it again.”
GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTER SIGMAR GABRIEL
“‘Love thy neighbor’ is part of this tradition, the act of helping others.”
FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTER JEAN-MARC AYRAULT
“We have signed international obligations, so welcoming refugees fleeing war and oppression forms part of our duties.”
BRITISH PRIME MINISTER THERESA MAY
“The United States is responsible for the United States’ policy on refugees.”
FAR-RIGHT DUTCH POPULIST GEERT WILDERS
In a tweet, the Dutch anti-Islam populist Wilders, whose Party for Freedom is polling strongly ahead of the country’s March 15 election, says: “No immigrants from Islamic countries.”
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