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Rasmussen visit: 'Timing not optimal'

The two countries are yet to finalise new dates for the visit of the Danish Prime Minister, Navtej Sarna said.

india Updated: Mar 18, 2006 20:47 IST

The Government on Saturday said Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen's visit to India scheduled for April was postponed as the timing was not "optimal" - a veiled reference to domestic Muslim sentiments over the issue of caricatures of Prophet Mohammed published first by a Danish daily.

"The two sides have found that the proposed timing for the visit was not optimal," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Navtej Sarna said in a statement.

The two countries are yet to finalise new dates for the visit of Rasmussen.

"India and Denmark look forward to the visit of the Danish prime minister to India at an early date," Sarna said.

"There was no option but to postpone the Danish PM's visit. It was a wise and politically correct thing to do," diplomatic sources said.

The government also pointed to a "new phase" in India-Denmark relations that would focus on economic and political cooperation.

"The Indo-Danish relationship is strong and excellent and is moving into a new phase which is focused on political dialogue and economic cooperation instead of the decades old development cooperation, which was phased out by the end of 2005," said Sarna.

"The visit of the Danish prime minister will highlight this evolution," he added.

First Published: Mar 18, 2006 18:01 IST