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Swiss govt ‘very concerned’ over minaret ban | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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ATHENS, Greece (AP) – The Swiss foreign minister says the government is “very concerned” over a weekend referendum that declares the building of any new minarets in Switzerland illegal.

Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey said Tuesday that limitations on the coexistence of different cultures and religions ‘also endangers our security.’ She said provocations risk inflaming extremism.

But Calmy-Rey stressed that the ban was only on new minarets, not on new mosques, and said Swiss Muslims were well integrated into society. She said the decision would not change Swiss foreign policy and that the country would continue to maintain close relations with Muslim nations. Calmy-Rey spoke during a meeting of foreign ministers of the 56-nation Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.