Sarkozy: jury still out on Durban


Nicolas Sarkozy said France would not participate in the Durban II racism conference  if it repeated the 2001 anti-Semitic debacle.

“France will not allow a repetition of the excesses and abuses of 2001,” the French president told CRIF, the umbrella body of French Jewish groups, in an address this week.

He suggested that the European Union, which will be under France’s presidency ahead of the 2009 United Nations-sponsored conference, would follow France’s lead.

“I say to you: if ever our legitimate demands are not taken into account, we will disengage from the process,” he said. The United States this week issued a similar warning.

U.N. Watch, a Geneva-based watchdog that monitors how the international body deals with human rights abusers, said this week it had confirmed reports that South Africa plans to once again host the conference.

The 2001 Durban conference devolved into an anti-Semitic and anti-Israel hate-fest led by Iran and radical Muslim and Arab groups.

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