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Home >> World
UPDATED: 10:51, February 08, 2006
EU joins UN, OIC in appealing for calm over cartoons
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The European Union joined the United Nations (UN) and the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) on Tuesday appealing for restraint and calm over the Prophet Mohammad cartoons.

"Aggression against life and property can only damage the image of a peaceful Islam," said a statement released by UN Secretary- General Kofi Annan, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana and Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Secretary General of the OIC.

The statement was the latest effort by the international community to calm down the outrage over caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad in Danish and some other European newspapers.

The cartoons have sparked violent protests by Muslims in several countries including Lebanon, Syria and Iran.

"We fully uphold the right of free speech. But we understand the deep hurt and widespread indignation felt in the Muslim World. We believe freedom of the press entails responsibility and discretion, and should respect the beliefs and tenets of all religions," said the statement.

"But we also believe the recent violent acts surpass the limits of peaceful protest. In particular, we strongly condemn the deplorable attacks on diplomatic missions that have occurred in Damascus, Beirut and elsewhere," it added.

The three leaders also in their statement called on the authorities of all countries to protect all diplomatic premises and foreign citizens against unlawful attack.

"These events make the need for renewed dialogue, among and between communities of different faiths and authorities of different countries," they said.

Source: Xinhua

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