Foreign minister contacts Arab League to end spat

The Arab League's indignation about drawings of the prophet Mohammed lead Foreign Minister Per Stig Møller to contact the organisation's secretary general

Foreign Minister Per Stig Møller spoke by telephone to Amr Moussa, the secretary general of the Arabic League, on Thursday in an attempt to ease tensions between the Muslim world and Denmark.

The two agreed that the decision by Jyllands-Posten to publish 12 caricatures of the Muslim prophet Mohammed should no longer cause friction between the two, national broadcaster DR reported.

'We agree that this matter needs to end,' Møller said.

Møller contacted Moussa after the league expressed their 'surprise and indignation' over the Danish government's reaction to the protest of both Danish Muslims as well as Muslim ambassadors in Denmark.

In addition to agreeing to end the controversy, Moussa also accepted the Danish position that while there needs to be mutual respect between religions, that politicians should not get involved in what the media chooses to publish.

The publishing of the caricatures in September resulted in demonstrations by Muslims, who believe it to be blasphemous to draw Mohammed.

The situation led a group of Muslim ambassadors to request a meeting with Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen to discuss the tone of the debate over Muslims in Denmark. Rasmussen refused to meet with the ambassadors, stating that he had no influence over the press.

As news of the drawings and Rasmussen's reactions spread in the Muslim world, the prime minister and Denmark have been heavily criticised by Muslims for failing to take action.

In his New Year's address to the nation, however, Rasmussen sought to express his understanding for the Muslim point of view.

Rasmussen's olive branch, as well as a decision to translate the speech to Arabic, were seen as positive steps by many Muslims.

Andre læser

Mest læste

Del artiklen