Senior foreign ministry officials have briefed Dutch embassies around the world to cope with any fall-out from Geert Wilders’ planned broadcast of anti-Mohammed cartoons.
The aim is to prevent ‘violent protests in Islamic countries which could put Dutch lives at risk or damage Dutch business interests’, the Volkskrant reports on Thursday.
A ‘cable’ with instructions was sent to 140 diplomatic missions earlier this month, sources told the paper.
Ambassadors have been asked to emphasis that the decision to show the cartoons on television is not that of the government, but of an MP making use of his right to freedom of expression. Such a briefing is standard procedure, the paper says.
‘There is absolutely no panic or feeling of crisis about Wilders and his cartoons,’ one source told the paper.
The PVV party leader plans to show the cartoons – entries in an American contest – during party political broadcasts on June 20, 24 and July 3.
He had earlier asked to exhibit them in the Dutch parliament but this was rejected because the exhibition would not meet parliamentary rules on neutrality.
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