German minister defends Swiss after minaret ban
Switzerland is one of the world's oldest democracies and was founded on tolerance, said the German foreign minister.Berlin -- German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said in a German newspaper that it was wrong to judge Switzerland as intolerant after its vote in favour of a ban on building new mosque minarets.
Switzerland is one of the world's oldest democracies and was founded on tolerance, the minister said in remarks reported in Saturday's edition of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
Westerwelle said however he would have campaigned for a different result.
In a referendum in Switzerland last weekend, 57 percent of voters approved a right-wing motion to ban future construction of minarets, a decision that was met with an international backlash and charges of intolerance.