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France to Iran: Leave Israel out of Durban II

Press TV - France says all European envoys would leave a UN anti-racism summit, should Iran level 'racist or anti-Semitic accusations' against Israel.

Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has described Israel as a 'frontrunner in racism', will deliver a speech on Monday at the UN-backed Durban Review Conference against racism, xenophobia and intolerance -- shunned by the United States and many of its allies.

His attendance has drawn the ire of Tel Aviv, which called on all countries to boycott the conference dubbed 'Durban II'. Hawkish Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the summit a 'festival of hate'.

Kouchner, who was speaking to France Info radio later on Monday, said that "We will have to be very clear. We will not tolerate any slips."

He further threatened that "if he [Ahmadinejad] utters racist or anti-Semitic accusations, we will leave the room immediately."

Ahead of his trip to Geneva, Iran's president lambasted Zionist Israelis for sowing the seeds of racism.

He described Zionism as a clear manifestation of racism and said that "Zionists seek to take control of the world's political and media centers in order to loot and belittle nations."

Australia, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland and Italy are among the countries declining to join the summit. The US, Australia and Canada have objected to the tone of the declaration set to be adopted by the five-day conference. The Netherlands rejected the 'politicization' of the event.

However, France, Britain and the Czech Republic are sending their diplomats to the meeting in order to "articulate standpoint on human rights issues."

Meanwhile, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini expressed his deep disappointment over the failure of the 27-member European Union to agree a common position on the summit.

"Going there and acting as a silent witness does not pay in the end: you only risk becoming complicit to it," he said in an interview with Italian daily Il Giornale.

... Payvand News - 04/20/09 ... --

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