BERLIN, Germany

A United Arab Emirates (UAE) minister on Monday called on Muslims to accept the stances of French President Emmanuel Macron on claim of “integration”.

“[Muslims] have to listen carefully to what Macron said in his speech, he doesn’t want to isolate Muslims in the West, and he is totally right,” Anwar Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, said in an interview with German daily Die Welt.

He said Muslims “are in need to be integrated in a better way, the French state has the right to search for ways to achieve this in parallel with combating extremism and societal closure”.

Gargash rejected accusations against the French president that he seeks to exclude Muslims.

The Emirati minister’s statements come amid continued popular protests in the Arab and Muslim world against Macron’s remarks on Islam in which he accused Muslims of “separatism” and defended the publishing of controversial insulting cartoons to Prophet Muhammad.

Following intense boycotting campaigns of French products across the Arab and Muslim world, Macron, in an interview with Al-Jazeera, lowered his tone and said he understands the feelings of Muslims over the cartoons.

*Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara

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