Durban II: Germany Out, Britain, France in

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GENEVA, Switzerland - A spokesman for the U.N.'s Durban II racism conference announced Sunday that Germany would not be attending.

Germany's cancellation followed similar announcements on Sunday by the U.S., Australia, New Zealand and the Netherlands.

Meanwhile, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner announced early Monday that France would attend the conference, but would walk out if participants use the platform for racist remarks against Israel.

Britain also chose to attend the conference, while attempting to counter "an unacceptable attempt to deny the Holocaust," a British Foreign Office spokesman said.

"We will have plans in place so that if it becomes clear that the conduct of the proceedings is degenerating and is getting to a point that we saw back in 2001 in Durban, then of course we will be ready to consider a range of options, including walking out of the conference," one official said.

"I'm sure you're aware President Ahmadinejad is going to be attending and will speak to the conference on Monday afternoon," he said.

"It goes without saying that is one speaker in particular we are anxious about in terms of what the content of his speech might amount to," he said.

Whether they will leave during the speech remains to be seen.

"Again, that's a judgment we will have to make, depending on just what it is he says and how he says it and what we actually think it garners in the conference room," the official said.

Source: The Jerusalem Post

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