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Last Updated: Friday, 7 September 2007, 17:08 GMT 18:08 UK
Sweden acts to cool cartoon row
Muslim protesters outside Nerikes Allehanda office in Orebro, 31 Aug 07
Last month some 200 Muslim protesters demanded an apology
Sweden's Prime Minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt, has met ambassadors from 22 Muslim countries in an effort to defuse a row about a Prophet Muhammad cartoon.

The cartoon, published in a Swedish newspaper last month, showed Prophet Muhammad's head on a dog's body. Several Muslim countries protested.

Mr Reinfeldt said Friday's talks had gone well, but added it was too early to say if tensions had been defused.

Last year there were riots over Danish cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

Mr Reinfeldt said he told the ambassadors that under the Swedish constitution, politicians were not allowed to "interfere with how the media [works] and what it chooses to publish".

Iranian Ambassador Hassan Ghashghavi, whose country had formally protested to Sweden over the cartoon, said Mr Reinfeldt's initiative "promotes dialogue and better mutual understanding".

Egypt and Pakistan had also protested to Sweden after the cartoon appeared in the Nerikes Allehanda newspaper on 18 August.

Muslims regard any visual representation of the Prophet as blasphemous. Many Muslims also regard the dog as an impure animal.

The cartoon's creator, Lars Vilks, told the Associated Press news agency the drawing was art.

The Danish cartoons, first published in September 2005 by the newspaper Jyllands-Posten, ignited violent protests across the Muslim world in 2006 and boycotts of Danish goods.

Q&A: The Muhammad cartoons row
07 Feb 06 |  Special Reports

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