President George W. Bush on Wednesday pleaded for an end to violence triggered by drawings of the Prophet Muhammad and also said that press freedom should be exercised with sensitivity.
"We reject violence as a way to express discontent with what may be printed in a free press," Bush said.
"I call upon the governments around the world to stop the violence, to be respectful, to protect property, protect the lives of innocent diplomats who are serving their countries overseas," the president said.
Bush also said that Americans believe in a free press, and added, "With freedom comes the responsibility to be thoughtful about others."
King Abdullah condemns cartoons
Bush made his comments after a meeting in the Oval Office with King Abdullah II of Jordan.
"With all respect to press freedoms, obviously anything that vilifies the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, or attacks Muslim sensibilities, I believe, needs to be condemned," the king said.
He went on to say that those who want to protest "should do it thoughtfully, articulately, express their views peacefully."
"When we see protests, when we see destruction, when we see violence, especially if it ends up taking the lives of innocent people, is completely unacceptable," he added. "Islam, like Christianity and Judaism, is a religion of peace, tolerance, moderation."
Bush said the reaction to the publication of the drawings was a subject "that requires a lot of discussion and a lot of sensitive thought."
"I first want to make it very clear to people around the world that ours is a nation that believes in tolerance and understanding," Bush said. "In America, we welcome people of all faiths. One of the great attributes of our country is that you're free to worship however you choose in the United States of America.
"Secondly, we believe in a free press," Bush added. "And also recognize that with freedom come responsibilities. With freedom comes the responsibility to be thoughtful about others."