Roemer likely to meet Chidambaram over 9/11 Quran burning issue

September 10th, 2010 - 1:14 pm ICT by ANI  

P. Chidambaram New Delhi, Sept.10 (ANI): U.S. Ambassador to India Timothy Roemer is meeting Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Friday, and according to informed sources, is likely to discuss the steps Washington is taking to prevent a Florida-based pastor from burning the Quran on the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 terror strike.

The U.S. Embassty said that Ambassador Roemer will interact with the media at noon after his meeting with the Home Minister.

On Thursday, Chidambaram had expressed concern over a possible outbreak of communal tensions in the country in the event of Florida pastor Terry Jones carrying out his threat to burn the Quran on the anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, and appealed to the Indian media to exercise “great restraint” over the next couple of days.

In a statement, Chidambaram said India hoped that the US authorities would take strong action to “prevent such an outrage” from being committed.

“While we await the action of the US authorities, we would appeal to the media in India - both print and visual media - to refrain from telecasting visuals or publishing photographs of the deplorable act. We would also appeal to the media to exercise great restraint over the next couple of days and help in maintaining communal peace and harmony,” he said.

Condemning the pastor’s proposed move, Chidambaram said it was “totally unbecoming of anyone who claims to be a man of religion”. “It is obviously calculated to increase bitterness and strife between different religious groups. No one who is interested in maintaining harmony and peace among different sections of the people can condone such action,” he said.

Radical Jones threatened on Thursday to “rethink” his decision to abandon plans for a weekend Quran-burning event that has drawn global outrage.

Hours after calling off the much-criticised ceremony to mark Saturday’s anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks, a foreign news agency quoted Jones, as saying that it had merely been suspended.

“Right now we are just putting a temporary hold upon our planned event,” he said.

The pastor of the tiny evangelical church, the Dove World Outreach Center, had earlier said his change of heart over the event was in exchange for a deal to relocate a controversial mosque project near Ground Zero in New York.

But the alleged deal was thrown into confusion when the imam leading the project for the Islamic cultural center in New York, Feisal Abdul Rauf, quickly denied any such agreement.

Jones claimed to have won assurances from an Orlando imam acting as a go-between, Mohammed Musri, that Rauf was willing to do a deal and would meet him in New York on Saturday to discuss it.

“We put a suspension on it because right now we are actually really disappointed and very shocked because if this turns out to be true, he (Musri) very clearly lied to us,” Jones said later after Rauf’s denial.

“We would be forced to rethink our decision, because we cancelled it based upon his word. I understand he (Musri) is now going around saying that he did not say that.” (ANI)

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