State Dept disavows comments by US ambassador to Netherlands

WASHINGTON/January 11, 2018(AP)(STL.News) — The State Department is disavowing 2015 comments made by the new U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands in which he said that the “Islamic movement” was creating chaos in Europe and suggested extremists were burning politicians and cars in the Netherlands.

Under Secretary of State for Public Affairs Steve Goldstein told reporters that Ambassador Pete Hoekstra’s comments were “wrong” and didn’t reflect the U.S. view of the Netherlands. Hoekstra clashed with Dutch journalists at a Wednesday news conference in The Hague and would not retract his 2015 remarks.

Hoekstra had already apologized but he refused to answer when Dutch journalists sought clarification on Wednesday.

Goldstein said Hoekstra would give an interview to a Dutch news outlet on Friday to clarify the matter and would tour various Dutch communities this weekend.

By MATTHEW LEE  by Associated Press, published on STL.NEWS by St. Louis Media, LLC (US)

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