Suriname rejects Dutch FM's apology for 'failed state' remarks

Stef Blok (Photo: Commons)Stef Blok (Photo: Commons)

The Surinamese government is not satisfied with a letter of apology that Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs sent after he called Suriname a 'failed state'. Blok's Surinamese counterpart Yldiz Pollack-Beighle calls Blok's apologies "poor" because he "does not take back the inaccuracies he voiced at a closed meeting", NOS reports.

At that closed meeting Blok said that peaceful multicultural societies don't exist, that it is genetically determined that people of different groups can not get along, and called Suriname a failed state. Blok later said he regretted the offense given with these statements, but did not actually say he regretted the statements.

"With his statements the Dutch Minister not only affects the government, but also the Surinamese people", Pollack-Beighle said, according to the broadcaster. Paramaribo therefore demanded not only apologies to the government, but also to the entire population of Suriname. "The latter is eminent, but it has not happened", she said. "The Surinamese government will only have complete satisfaction if the words are labeled as incorrect in their totality."

According to Pollack-Beighle, Blok hit Suriname on matters that the country sees as fundamental. "We have an ethnic diversity, we have a collective expression of cultures, that is who we are", the Surinamese Minister said. She emphasizes that Suriname can not be called a "failed state", because the country is a democracy with a functioning legal order.