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Florida pastor says he won't burn Quran

Firebrand pastor Terry Jones said on Saturday his church will never burn the Quran, as he had previously threatened, in an interview given with NBC television.

world Updated: Sep 11, 2010 18:30 IST

Firebrand pastor Terry Jones said on Saturday his church will never burn the Quran, as he had previously threatened, in an interview given with NBC television.

"We will definitely not burn the Quran, no," Jones told NBC.

"Not today, not ever," he said after being pressed on whether his Gainesville, Florida church would carry out the burning at a later date in response to a Islamic cultural center near the site of the World Trade Center destroyed in the September 11 attacks.

Jones earlier flew to New York where he had planned to meet with imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the Muslim preacher behind plans for the Islamic center, but he told NBC's "Today" show on Saturday no such meeting had been set up.

On Thursday Jones suspended his plans to burn copies of the Quran after saying he had received a pledge that the Islamic cultural center would be moved elsewhere.

Abdul Rauf and others involved in the cultural center said they had made no deal and had not arranged a meeting with Jones.

Jones's plans to torch Islam's holy book touched off a domestic and international firestorm, with protests across the Muslim world.

US President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Robert Gates both called on Jones to cancel the event, saying it endangered the lives of US troops stationed in Muslim countries and undermined US principles of religious tolerance.