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Parliamentarians Divided Over UN Conference on Racism

Iranian President Ahmadinejad.

Swedish parliamentarians are divided over the decision of the Swedish ambassador to walk out along with other Western delegates during the speech of the Iranian president at the United Nations conference on racism in Geneva after he called Israel a racist nation.

Members of the Swedish center-right government parties say this protest was a correct, that other nations are more guilty of human rights violations than Israel and that Sweden has made the right decision to keep a low profit at the conference attended only by an ambassador.

Hans Linde, foreign policy spokesman for the opposition Left Party says Sweden should be represented by the foreign minister himself as Norway has - and make strong statements about human rights instead of being silent or keeping a low profile.

He adds that he agrees with the Iranian description of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians in the occupied territories and that a number of high-level actors on the international scene such as ex American President Jimmy Carter has also labelled Israeli policies as racist apartheid.

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