Just a day after German Chancellor Angela Merkel caused a stir by calling multi-culturalism a failure in Germany, German Foreign Minister Dr Guido Westerwelle said India and Germany must jointly fight terrorism caused by fundamentalism, and that immigrants must learn to integrate with the country. He made a few strong comments in an exclusive interview to Suhasini Haidar on CNN-IBN.
"If someone comes into our country it is necessary that he integrates himself, that he accepts our common values, that he follows our law. We should never forget that terrorist attacks do happen because of fundamentalists," said the German Foreign Minister.
India and Germany are going to fight for a permanent seat on the Security Council along with Brazil and Japan, the P-4 nations as they are called. German Foreign Minister Dr Guido Westerwelle held talks with Indian Foreign Minister SM Krishna just days after the two countries won non-permanent seats at the UNSC.
CNN-IBN: Germany and Europe have just seen a high security alert triggered off by the interrogation of a German national in Afghanistan who was allegedly trained in Pakistan. How much concern for Germany is the export of terror from places like Afghanistan, particularly the Pakistan border, and how much are you taking that up with the government of Pakistan?
Dr Guido Westerwelle: Please understand, I do not want to comment on this specific case. But I think it is very important that we fight against these terrorist attacks. This is something that we both want to do: India and Germany. It is a common threat because it in on all our interests all over the world to we fight the terrorist attacks. I mean we should never forget that terrorist attacks do happen because there are some fundamentalists, who think the way we discuss, for example the way we are discussing right now, is not acceptable. You as a lady and me as a man sit here and talk to each other on television. For some people this is a provocation. Of course we cannot accept this.
CNN-IBN: We heard Chancellor Merkel on Sunday talking of failure of the multi-culturalism in Germany. Is she is referring to the threat of the rising Islamic fundamentalism?
Dr Guido Westerwelle : No, we wouldn't reduce it to a religious case. Of course, we want to have intelligent people in our country to support the development of our society. We know that different cultures are very constructive and support creativity in a country. But also it is important if someone comes into our country, it is necessary that he integrates himself, that he accepts our common values, that he follows our law.
CNN-IBN: In your discussion today, have you discussed how the two sides can co-ordinate their position at the Security Council. What do you really expect in terms of co-operation?
Dr Guido Westerwelle: India is a rising economy, it is very successful like Brazil - two countries with a remarkable success story. Of course it is necessary that this new balance in the world is represented in the United Nations, if we want that the United Nations plays a powerful role in the world.
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