'This is the Netherlands, you have to answer questions'

Pete Hoekstra

Pete Hoekstra. U.S. Congress Wikimedia Commons

Mr. Hoekstra made the original remarks at a conference hosted by the David Horowitz Freedom Center, a conservative group, where he argued that the "Islamic movement" had plunged Europe into chaos.

In 2015, Hoekstra had referred to "no-go zones" in the Netherlands, wrongly suggesting there were Muslim-ruled enclaves outside the government's control.

Mr Hoekstra is a former Republican congressman from MI who was born in the Netherlands.

Hoekstra angered Dutch media on Wednesday when he met with reporters for the first time since taking over as ambassador but declined to answer questions asking him to clarify his remarks from two years ago.

"This is the Netherlands, you have to answer questions", another declared.

On Wednesday, despite being repeatedly asked at a heated news conference at his residence in The Hague, Hoekstra refused to say whether he still stood by his views.

"I've expressed my regrets and look forward to moving on", ambassador Peter Hoekstra said only hours after presenting his credentials to King Willem-Alexander, adding he would not be "revisiting the issue".

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"We were all astonished that he didn't want to take back the comment". One asked Hoekstra if he would be visiting "our no-go areas". "And yes, there are no-go zones in the Netherlands", Hoekstra says in the clip.

Hoekstra has been in hot water in the Netherlands for the remarks since he was first confronted by a Dutch journalist, Wouter Zwart, in December.

You may remember Hoekstra from his viral humiliation in December, when he was caught on camera lying about racist and unfounded statements about the threat of radical Islam.

"The Islamic movement has now gotten to a point where they have put Europe into chaos". Later, after being played a recording of his comment, he denied calling it fake news.

The film caused a stir in The Netherlands last month when during an interview with the NOS public broadcaster, Hoekstra denied ever making the comments, saying it was "fake news".

"I made certain remarks during 2015 and regret the exchange", Hoekstra posted on Twitter.

In his first news conference with reporters since being named ambassador by President Donald Trump, the former Michigan GOP lawmaker was asked no less than a half-dozen questions about a claim that he never substantiated, the Times reported. "Please accept my apology", he wrote. He said Hoekstra also was expected to visit various Dutch communities over the weekend, including Muslim communities.

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