Denmark plans more embassies in Arab world after cartoon crisis

He wouldn't specify which countries he had in mind, saying it would need to be discussed before the government's 2007 budget proposal. But when asked if Morocco, where Denmark currently doesn't have an embassy, was on his short list, Moeller replied: "That's a very good guess."

Denmark became the target of angry protests across the Muslim world earlier this year after a Danish newspaper published 12 cartoons of the prophet, and other European papers reprinted them. Many Muslims denounced the drawings as offensive to their religion, and criticized the Danish government for not taking a stronger stance against the paper.

The government distanced itself from the cartoons but resisted demands to apologize, saying it could not be held responsible for the actions of Denmark's free press.

On Monday, the Foreign Ministry released a report it commissioned before the cartoon crisis about plans to promote reforms in the Arab world.

"The analysis shows there's still interest in the project (from the Arab world). Because of the cartoon crisis, we have had to keep a low profile for a short time, but our partners in the region say they want to keep up the cooperation," Moeller said.

The Danish plan, called "The Arab Initiative" started in 2003 in the Middle East and North Africa and has a yearly budget of some 100 million kroner (US$17 million, Ђ13.5 million) for projects promoting civil rights, gender equality and press freedom.

The report suggests Denmark should focus on projects in Morocco, Jordan, Egypt, Yemen, Algeria and Lebanon, the AP reports.

Moeller emphasized that Denmark only sponsors projects in countries where they are welcome and the local government is open to democratic reforms.