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Denmark Moves to Address Concerns Over Mohammed Cartoons

Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen met in Copenhagen Friday, with more than 70 diplomats from Muslim countries to try to ease anger at newspaper cartoons depicting the prophet Mohammed.

He said he is deeply distressed at the reaction to the caricatures, but offered no apology for their publication. He noted that Danish newspapers are free of government control.

Egyptian Ambassador Mona Omar Attia said the paper that first published the drawings Jyllands-Posten must satisfy the Muslim world with a clear apology.

The paper did apologize for giving offense, but cited its rights of free speech. Many other European papers reprinted the cartoons in a show of solidarity for press freedom. Other papers denounced them as tasteless and unnecessarily offensive.

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw called the repeated publication insensitive and disrespectful. The U.S. State Department issued a similar statement.

Muslim outrage has continued around the world. Many governments, fearing more demonstrations after Muslim Friday prayer services, are taking precautions against further protests.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.