Washington: The Governor of New York, David Paterson, has said the proposed Muslim community centre and a mosque should not come up near Ground Zero, saying "terrorists are laughing" about the debate.
"The longer we have this feud, the more the terrorists are laughing. With worldwide terrorism on the increase, we need to be together even though we have political differences," The New York Daily News quoted Governor Paterson, as saying.
Paterson has called on developers of Park51, the site where the planned mosque and community centre is to come up two blocks north of Ground Zero, to move the project to another site in Manhattan.
Paterson claimed he had asked for a meeting with community leaders to discuss the idea of offering state land as an incentive to move, but no date has been finalised as yet.
"The latest as of this weekend is they are really waiting for the imam to come back from a trip overseas, I`m still hopeful we`ll have a meeting," Paterson said.
Opponents feel the project is insensitive to those who lost loved ones on 9/11.
Paterson said: "I think, we owe it to the people who live near Ground Zero and we owe it to our country to resolve this thing as soon as possible."