Controversial U.S. pastor Terry Jones has called off his plans to burn hundreds of copies of the Koran to mark the anniversary of the September 11 attacks.
Jones, pastor of a 50-member congregation in Florida, has called for an "International Burn the Koran Day" on the upcoming ninth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. The announcement caused widespread international outrage.
The pastor told reporters that he changed his plans because the imam of New York had promised him to review plans for building a Muslim community center and mosque in Lower Manhattan, some two blocks away from where the World Trade Center used to be located.
"The imam has agreed to move the mosque and we have agreed to cancel our event on Saturday. And on Saturday I will be flying up there to meet with him," Jones said.
On Thursday, U. S. President Barack Obama implored the pastor to call off the Koran-burning campaign, saying that the move is a "recruitment bonanza" for al-Qaeda.
Nine years on from the plane hijackings by al-Qaeda terrorists, in which almost 3,000 people were killed, the site of the World Trade Center is still under construction. A memorial being built at an estimated cost of $58 million is expected to open at Ground Zero on the 10th anniversary of the attacks.
WASHINGTON, September 10 (RIA Novosti)