Leaders of German-speaking countries say Muslims welcome
The leaders of four German-speaking countries on Monday proclaimed Muslim immigrants as being welcome in their nations, as long as they learn to speak the language and adapt to local customs, dpa reported.
German President Christian Wulff, Austrian President Heinz Fischer, Swiss President Doris Leuthard and Prince Alois of Liechtenstein made the comments at the end of an informal annual meeting in Germany's Baltic port of Luebeck.
Wulff had angered some conservatives in his country last month by saying that Islam belonged in Germany. The other three leaders said on Monday that they support him on the issue, noting that Muslims and Christians normally live side-by-side in peace.
They added that all four nations need immigrants to bring in skills and help shore up social welfare systems as contributors.
"However, we do expect a willingness to adapt to the law and customs of the host country. That includes learning the language," said Leuthard, whose nation last year voted in a referendum to ban minarets when new mosques are built.
The German-speaking quartet has met annually since 2004.