''We deeply regret the republication of the Danish cartoons. We condemn it,'' a spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said today. The spokesman further said, ''We fail to understand how hurting the sentiments of a billion Muslims can advance the cause of freedom of expression. It can only spur resentment that can be destabilising.'' The move came one day after Danish authorities arrested three people allegedly plotting a "terror-related assassination" of Kurt Westergaard, the cartoonist behind the drawing. Berlingske Tidende, was one of the newspapers involved in the republication by newspapers in Denmark. It said: "We are doing this to document what is at stake in this case, and to unambiguously back and support the freedom of speech that we as a newspaper always will defend," in comments reported by The Associated Press.