Denmark: Foreign minister denies apologizing for cartoons

Denmark: Foreign minister denies apologizing for cartoons

Arab media reported that Danish Foreign Minister, Lene Espersen, apologized for the Mohammed cartoons.

Via Gulf News:

Five years after angry Muslim protests, Denmark Wednesday apologised for the printing of cartoons lampooning the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH). “Denmark is against any repeat of such bids that cause rifts among people of the world,” Danish Foreign Minister Lene Espersen told a joint press with Egypt’s top Muslim cleric after one-hour talks.

“Denmark is keen to maintain good ties with all Muslim countries,” she added as she sat next to Ahmad Al Tayeb, the Grand Shaikh of Al Azhar, which is the Sunni world’s prestigious seat of learning.

Espersen denies she apologized. Via Politiken:

Denmark’s Foreign Minister Lene Espersen says that claims in Egypt that she should have apologised for the media printing caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed, are a misunderstanding.

The English-language Egyptian Gazette has reported under the headline ‘Denmark apologises to Musims for cartoons’ that Espersen apologised for the cartoons during a visit to Cairo recently.

The Gazette reports the apology as falling during a visit with Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayyeb, the Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar.

"The minister renewed her country's apology for the publication of these cartoons and pointed out Denmark’s efforts to issue a law criminalising contempt of religions," el-Tayyeb is reported as saying during a joint news conference with Espersen yesterday. El-Tayyeb is further reported as saying that he could not apologise for any reactions by Muslims following the publication of the cartoons.

Speaking from Brussels where she is taking part in a NATO meeting, Espersen denies having apologised.

“I fully refute having apologised... I am always very careful in explaining exactly what Denmark’s position is on this issue. So I can fully deny having apologised,” Espersen tells Politiken.

Espersen suggests that the misunderstanding may have occurred as a result of her explanation of Danish law.