German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius canceled a trip to Baghdad due to protests in Iraq following the burning of the Koran in Sweden and Denmark. This is reported by the publication Spiegel with reference to the Ministry of Defense.
The publication clarifies that the trip was canceled at the last moment for security reasons. Pistorius planned to meet with the Bundeswehr stationed in Baghdad, as well as with his Iraqi counterpart. The decision was made on the recommendation of the Federal Criminal Police Office in connection with the riots outside the Swedish Embassy in Baghdad and attacks on Danish refugee agencies in Basra province. In Germany, they did not rule out an increase in the scale of the riots and their spread to representative offices of other countries. At the end of June, the Swedish police allowed a protest action with the burning of the Koran at the main mosque in Stockholm on the first day of the Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha. An Iraqi refugee tore the pages out of the book in protest, wiped his shoes with them, then put bacon in it and set it on fire. The European Union condemned the action, but emphasized that they defend freedom of expression. In July, protesters stormed the Swedish embassy in Baghdad and set it on fire. The Iraqi Foreign Ministry condemned these actions and ordered an investigation. On July 21, near the building of the Iraqi embassy in Copenhagen, an action was also held with the burning of a copy of the Koran and the desecration of the national flag of the republic. The demonstrative burning was staged by members of the extremist group Danish Patriots. The Danish Foreign Ministry condemned this action, stressing that it supports the right to protest, but it must remain peaceful.