Gay MEP Michael Cashman has condemned homophobic comments made by the new United Nations General Assembly president.

As PinkNews.co.uk reported last week, Ali Abdussalam Treki said that homosexuality is “not really acceptable”.

Treki, who is the Libyan secretary of African Union Affairs, opened the 64th session of the United Nations General Assembly last Friday with a press conference.

One question concerned the UN resolution which calls for the universal decriminalisation of homosexuality.

In reply, Treki said: “That matter is very sensitive, very touchy. As a Muslim, I am not in favour of it . . . it is not accepted by the majority of countries. My opinion is not in favour of this matter at all. I think it’s not really acceptable by our religion, our tradition.

“It is not acceptable in the majority of the world. And there are some countries that allow that, thinking it is a kind of democracy . . . I think it is not,” he added.

In a statement released today, Cashman attacked the “inappropriate and unacceptable” comments.

He said: “Such statements are totally inappropriate and unacceptable. He must now speak on behalf of those who do not have a voice and forget his religious beliefs which must remain private. He must realise that the implications of his words could legitimise violence towards LGBT people.”

Cashman, who is the president of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on LGBT rights, called on Treki to “think again” and added: “He is there to defend the principles of the United Nations and that includes the Universal Declaration Human Rights Act 1948 and all following amendments and covenants of rights, including LGBT human rights.”

The resolution on homosexuality which Treki referred to was signed by 66 countries and passed last December.