Afghan President Karzai postpones Norway visit amid film controversy

Afghanistan’s president cancelled a scheduled trip to Oslo on Wednesday amid high tensions surrounding a US-made anti-Islamic film.

Officials from the office of President Hamid Karzai said that the decision to postpone the trip was made in the wake of escalating demonstrations in Islamic nations over the film.

Mr Karzai was supposed to leave for Norway on Wednesday September 12 to sign a new strategic partnership agreement with officials in the Scandinavian country. According to Aimal Faizi, a spokesman for the Afghan premier, the meeting will be rescheduled to a later date.

The news comes following violent protests in Egypt and Libya in response to the growing web presence of a low-budget film, The Innocence of Muslims. The events resulted in the death of the US Ambassador and three other diplomats in Benghazi on Tuesday when protesters breached the walls of the US Consulate.

Karzai has reportedly spoken with US President Barack Obama to address concerns that the conflict could affect Afghan civilians and US troops on Afghan soil.

Speaking about the film earlier in the week, President Karzai said, “Insult to the greatest Prophet of Islam means insult to high values of 1.5 billion Muslims across the world. This offensive act has stoked interfaith enmity and confrontation, and badly impacted [on] the peaceful coexistence between human beings,” CNN reports.