Former Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and High Representative of International Community in BiH Carl Bildt criticized the anti-immigrant policy of US President Donald Trump in a column for the Washington Post.
Donald Trump had previously estimated that immigrants, especially those from “Muslim” countries are the one to blame for the rise in violence, murders, terrorist and other attacks, and mentioned Sweden as an example, which received the most immigrants and refugees in terms of the population of all European countries.
“Look at what’s happening in Sweden,” said Trump. Well, Swedes could not figure out what was, according to Trump, going on in their country.
Carl Bildt called Trump “limited”, and then through the example of refugees from BiH explained how the refugee crisis and the question of integrating these people into society could be handled.
“It was the early 1990s. I was prime minister of Sweden and near Christmas I was visiting our soldiers serving with the United Nations peacekeeping operation in Croatia. War was raging in Bosnia, and so I ventured down to the bridge on the border between the two countries. Bus after bus with desperate refugees was crossing over. The ethnic cleansing of western Bosnia was in its final stages,” said Bildt.
“At home we struggled with both an economic crisis and a more massive influx of refugees than we had ever had. One year brought in about 100,000 women, children and men fleeing the carnage of the Balkans. Most of them were from Bosnia, and most of them were Muslims. A couple of years later at a public gathering in the northernmost part of Sweden, I was approached by a young woman named Anna Ibrisagic. She was from Bosnia, and she knew that I had been there and that I had wanted to help. Her family had been forced to flee, and they went over the bridge at Bosanska Gradiska exactly when I was visiting. Not knowing what to do, they saw the Swedish flags on my vehicles and, in the absence of any other alternative, asked to go there. That young woman’s road from Sanski Most to Lule turned out to be only the beginning. Ibrisagic entered business and politics, was elected to Parliament and then to the European Parliament, becoming the first from Bosnia there. She served for a decade, elected from and by Sweden,“ said Bildt.
“Yet today, some decades later, the story is one of success. Numerous studies have shown that the Bosnian refugees have integrated well in Swedish society. On average they do as well, or even marginally better, than those born in the country. And they are everywhere: in sports, culture, business and politics. They have given an added flavor to our country — but it’s still very much Sweden. They wave the flag and sing the songs. I believe they have made Sweden a better country,” stated Bildt for Washington Post.
“I regret that President Trump is slandering our country in his attempts to find reasons for what he wants to do in closing off the United States. I suspect that his actual knowledge of the issue is extremely limited. If it were not for the massive turmoil that could ensue, I would urge him to skip one of his golfing weekends and come to us and see for himself. And I’m personally very proud of what my country did during some difficult years to offer a new future to some of those fleeing the horrors of the Balkan wars. That it turned out to benefit our society is, of course, also part of the good story of Sweden,” concluded Former Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and High Representative of International Community in BiH Carl Bildt.
(Source: faktor.ba/Washington Post)