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Morocco recalls ambassador to Vatican

india Updated: Sep 16, 2006 22:37 IST
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Morocco announced on Saturday it was recalling its ambassador to the Vatican for consultations in the wake of "offensive remarks" made by Pope Benedict XVI.

Earlier on Saturday the head of the Roman Catholic Church had voiced deep regret at the Islamic world's outraged reaction to a speech he gave in Germany this week but stopped short of retracting his remarks, arguing that they had been misinterpreted.

The Moroccan foreign ministry said that Ambassador Ali Achour would be recalled for consultation as of Sunday on the instructions of King Mohammed VI after "offensive remarks about Islam and Muslims made by Pope Benedict XVI at Regensburg University on September 12".

The monarch on Saturday also sent a written protest to Benedict, official MAP news agency said, without giving details.

Following widespread outrage across the Muslim world, the Pope apologised to Muslims for comments he made in Germany on Tuesday that appeared to link Islam to violence.

The head of the Roman Catholic Church said his speech had been intended as a rejection of religiously-motivated violence from any side.

As is usually the case with texts of this kind, Benedict XVI had prepared his address alone and had not shown copies to advisors before he delivered it.