Indonesia’s Foreign Minister to Visit Denmark

One of the issues to be discussed between the two foreign ministers will no doubt be the Danish government’s handling of the controversial case of the Muhammed drawings in the Jutland Post (Jyllands-Posten). After the Danish paper published several cartoon drawings of the prophet – although the traditions of Islam prohibits any visual portrayals of him – Indonesia’s ambassador in Denmark, Mr. Perwitorini Wijono, was one of 11 foreign ambassadors in Denmark to sign a protest letter to Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen against his lack of condemnation of the cartoon drawings. The Prime Minister has refused to officially condemn or punish the Jutland Post for its actions, declaring that it would be an assault on the Danish freedom of speech. This has sparked great criticism from a number of Muslim countries – including Indonesia.

Foreign Minister Wirajuda’s visit to Denmark has been planned for a while, but resent statements from a representative of the Indonesian Foreign Ministry in Jakarta, saying that the drawings have damaged the relationship Denmark and Indonesia, will no doubt give the two colleagues something to talk about at their meeting in Copenhagen.

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