(Photo Credit: CDE)
On 19 October, the UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan, received a phone call from EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell following his racist remarks last week.
During the phone conversation, the two head officials discussed the importance of promoting the values of tolerance, pluralism, respect, and ensuring peaceful coexistence in the world, according to the Emirates News Agency.
Bin Zayed emphasized the close relationship between the EU and the UAE in their efforts to enhance and develop close and mutual cooperation in various fields.
Borrell and Bin Zayed also discussed developments in the regional and international arenas, the war in Ukraine, and global efforts to resolve an energy crisis that has emerged and affected Europe due to aggressive sanctions targeting the Russian markets.
Last week, Borrell described the world outside the EU as “a jungle that could invade the Union,” which he compared to a beautiful garden.
On 17 October, UAE officials summoned the acting head of the EU delegation, demanding an explanation for his racist and colonial remarks.
The Emirati Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation described Borrell’s comments as racist and said they contributed to a worsening climate of intolerance and discrimination worldwide.
Others have said Borrell’s speech reflected long-outdated views of European supremacy over the ‘uncivilized’ world. His words also ignore the long history of colonialism that allowed countries in the west to develop at the expense of the Global South.
The words of the European highest diplomat @JosepBorrellF are rooted in colonialism and racism. They are unacceptable. The European Parliament should call him out on it. pic.twitter.com/PMAPT44WLH
— Marc Botenga (@BotengaM) October 18, 2022
“Colonial nostalgics resurface like monsters,” Qatar’s Minister of State, Hamad al-Kawari, tweeted earlier on Tuesday in response to Borrell.
During a press conference on 17 October, Borrell denied that his message was racist or colonialist, according to the Spanish news agency EFE. He claimed the comments intended to reject the idea of ‘fortress Europe’ and to encourage students to engage with the world.