Koran burn pastor arrives in New York

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Terry Jones, the pastor of a 50-member Pentecostal church in Gainesville who had planned to burn copies of Islam's holiest book to mark the ninth anniversary of the September 11th 2001attacks, has arrived in New York.

Surrounded by a throng of police, Jones declined to comment to reporters who waited for him at LaGuardia Airport and followed him to a waiting cab.

His flight to New York followed assurances from those close to the leader of the tiny church in Florida, that the burning of the Korans would not go ahead on Saturday.

The plans to burn Islam's holiest book drew angry protests across the Muslim world, a call from the US Secretary of Defence and impassioned pleas to call it off from religious and political leaders and even Jones' own children.

"There will be no Koran burning tomorrow," Jones' 29-year-old son, Luke Jones, told reporters outside his father's Gainesville church. He added that he could not predict what might happen in the future.

Meanwhile, Terry Jones, himself may have earlier given a clue as to the reason of his trip to New York, saying that he still hoped to meet the Imam planning to build an Islamic centre near the New York World Trade Centre site.

His comments came shortly after a statement from the Imam, Feisal Abdul Rauf, who said that he had 'no immediate plans' to meet Jones.

The muslim cleric did say though that he was "prepared to consider meeting with anyone who is seriously committed to pursuing peace."

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