Cartoon contest is a 'provocation': Steinmeier
8 February 2006, BERLIN - German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Wednesday sharply attacked plans by an Iranian newspaper for a Holocaust cartoon contest.
8 February 2006
BERLIN - German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Wednesday sharply attacked plans by an Iranian newspaper for a Holocaust cartoon contest.
"To ignore the Holocaust in this way and to denigrate the victims is not just tasteless but also a provocation," said Steinmeier in remarks to reporters.
Steinmeier said he could neither comprehend nor understand such a move.
German law bans denying the Holocaust or causing offence to the memory of Holocaust victims.
Earlier, the German government said it would not close its embassies in Islamic countries which have been hit by violent protests over the publication of cartoons deemed insulting to Muslims.
"Closing of embassies is absolutely out of the question," said deputy government spokesman Thomas Steg at a news conference.
Steg said Germany wanted to use its diplomats to promote both a "dialogue of cultures" and economic cooperation with the Islamic world.
"We have to use existing contacts to contribute to de-escalation," said Steg, who underlined that Germany would not reduce aid to any of the Muslim countries which had been hit by violent protests.
Cartoons depicting the Muslim Prophet Mohammed, first published in Denmark, have been printed in many European newspapers including several in Germany.
The cartoons have enraged many Muslims. Depiction of the Prophet is barred under the Islamic faith. One of the cartoons published showed Mohammed with a bomb wrapped in his turban.
Subject: German news