Westerwelle Calls for Restraint: “This Video – Which We Condemn – Can Never Justify Murder”
Enlarge image Foreign Minister Westerwelle at the conference on the Internet and Human Rights on September 14 (© Photothek / Th. Trutschel) Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle has called for restraint in the wake of recent violent protests in several Islamic countries triggered by a controversial anti-Islamic video on the Internet. The American ambassador to Libya and three of his staff were killed in an attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya on September 11.
Westerwelle has condemned the recent attacks on US diplomatic missions in the strongest possible terms and appealed to the Arab world to express its criticism of the “unspeakable video” in a non-violent manner. At the same time he called for comprehensive protection for diplomatic missions, and said that diplomats needed to be able to carry out their work without fear.
He addressed the recent events on Friday at a conference hosted by the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin on promoting an independent, open and secure Internet. “This Friday, we are all concerned about what we saw in the last hours and the horrible messages we received from Libya,” Westerwelle said. “The terrible events of these days in the Arab world have shown us all that the internet is both a blessing and a curse. We share the condemnation and criticism of the video and its intention to provoke religious feelings, but that can never be an excuse for violence and murder. And I know that here in this room we have some guests from the United States of America. I would like to express in the name of the Federal Republic our deepest sympathy with our American colleagues. This video – which we condemn – can never justify murder.”