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German MP van Aken: "Hollande turned brutal, bad murderers into warriors of a foreign state"

In an interview with DW, van Aken said Hollande's reaction to Paris "was a very big mistake and a very big victory for IS." The MP criticized the German government for its failure to tackle Islamic State (IS).

Addressing François Hollande, MP van Aken asked: "Why do you do this? This is the wet dream of the terrorist, to be called an army of a foreign state."

Van Aken confirmed his opposition against military action against IS and suggested an alternative: "I'm asking to intervene, but not militarily! Intervening with the Qatari government to stop the funding - with no money, IS will go away very fast!" The left-wing politician criticized that German diplomats did not exert enough pressure on the Arab states, saying: "Delivering weapons and (…) and then hoping IS will go away, this is not a policy. (...) The German government is doing nothing to defeat IS on the financial side."

Comparing the current situation in Paris with the attacks of a right-wing extremist on a youth camp on the Norwegian island of Utøya in 2011, van Aken cited Jens Stoltenberg, then Prime Minister of Norway: "The first reaction of Stoltenberg was: 'What we need now is more humanity and more democracy.' And I think that was the biggest defeat for the murderer."

The politician also criticized Europe's approach to the Assad regime, saying: "I think there were big mistakes concerning Assad. And there was a point where he was willing to concede, when he was militarily weak, and then the West thought they were too strong to talk. That was a mistake. But Islamic State, I don't see anyone there willing to talk. So there is no point now."

Van Aken added Germany should now be open towards Russia: "Start with a policy towards Russia that is not excluding but including.(…) Russia is under military threat. If you look at the past 15 years of actions of NATO."

Speaking about his personal motivation, the MP stated: "I'm not in opposition just for the fun of it."

Jan van Aken, born in Reinbek near Hamburg in 1961, studied biology. He says of himself he's been politically active for more than 30 years, engaging especially in environmental matters. He only joined a political party in 2007. He is a Member of the German Bundestag for "The Left" party and the party's foreign policy spokesman.

The full interview will air on DW's "Conflict Zone" on Wednesday, November 25, at 17.30 UTC, and will be available online on demand.

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