Bot and Saudi king discuss cartoon crisis
15 February 2006, AMSTERDAM — Dutch Foreign Minister Ben Bot has discussed the Mohammed cartoon row with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.
15 February 2006
AMSTERDAM — Dutch Foreign Minister Ben Bot has discussed the Mohammed cartoon row with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.
"Our freedom of expression is in a certain sense an absolute freedom, only limited by the law," Bot told the King on Tuesday. "Naturally, individual responsibility also plays a role."
Bot said afterwards that King Abdullah acknowledged this right, but the King added, "this does not mean you can deliberately offend God. The same applies to all religions and all prophets."
It was uncertain for some time on Tuesday whether the King would receive Bot. The meeting was called off at the last minute, only for the audience to be granted later. European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana was denied a meeting with the King on Monday.
"Our freedom of expression and press freedom cannot be bargained over," Bot said. At the same time he expressed understanding for the manner in which the Islamic world has been offended by the caricatures.
Meanwhile, the organisers of 'Carnivaal' have warned cartoons of Mohammed and making fun of Islam will not be tolerated during the annual fancy dress parades which are held mainly in the south of the Netherlands.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]
Subject: Dutch news