Gates phoned pastor to say US soldiers at risk: official



WASHINGTON- US Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Thursday phoned a Florida pastor planning to burn Korans and warned him that he was putting the lives of US soldiers at risk, the Pentagon said.
Speaking to the pastor, Gates "expressed his grave concern that going forward with this Koran burning would put the lives of our forces at risk, especially in Iraq and Afghanistan, and urged him not to proceed with it", press secretary Geoff Morrell told reporters.



Gates phoned pastor to say US soldiers at risk: official
It was a "very brief conversation", he said.
After the phone call, Terry Jones, head of the Dove World Outreach Center, announced he had abandoned plans to torch hundreds of Korans on Saturday's ninth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
President Barack Obama's administration had debated whether to place the phone call to the pastor amid global condemnation of the church's plans.
The defense secretary’s view was that "if that phone call would save the life of one man or woman in uniform, it was a call worth placing", Morrell said.
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Friday, September 10th 2010
AFP
           


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