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UN Chief Says Islamophobia Fueling Global Tensions

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres (file photo)

The United Nations chief says Islamophobia is fueling terrorism and global tensions, amid a rise in anti-immigrant policies in some countries around the world.

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres made the remarks on February 12 as he met in Riyadh with Saudi Arabia's king and other officials.

"One of the things that fuel terrorism is the expression in some parts of the world of Islamophobic feelings and Islamophobic policies and Islamophobic hate speeches," Guterres said.

"This is sometimes the best support that [Islamic State] can have to make its own propaganda," he said at a joint news conference with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir.

Among the European countries seeing an uptick in anti-immigrant rhetoric is France, where right-wing candidate Marine Le Pen is a leading presidential contender.

In the United States, President Donald Trump's executive order last month sharply restricted immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries.

Based on reporting by AFP, Reuters