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Religion/Civilisation

US/RACISM CONFERENCEBack
[Published: Sunday April 19 2009]

US pulls out of UN racism conference

Washington, 20 April-(ANA)-Washington has confirmed it will boycott a UN forum on racism in Geneva next week because of differences over Israel and the right to free speech.

The state department said the proposed text of the conference's guiding document remained unacceptable despite having been amended significantly.

The US and Israel quit a similar forum in Durban in 2001 when its draft document likened Zionism to racism.

Current language about "incitement to religious hatred" also alarms the US.

The five-day Durban Review Conference is due to open on Monday.

EU diplomats were still consulting on Saturday on whether to attend the conference. Canada and Israel said earlier that they would not attend.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has stirred outrage by repeatedly calling the Holocaust of the Jews a "myth", is the only prominent head of state so far scheduled to attend.

The state department said it was "with regret" that the US had decided to boycott the conference.

"The text still contains language that reaffirms in toto the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action [DDPA] from 2001, which the United States has long said it is unable to support," it said in a statement. (ANA)

FA/ANA/20 April 2009---

 


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