Russia criticises Ahmadinejad’s speech at Geneva conference

April 22nd, 2009 - 4:53 am ICT by IANS  

Moscow, April 22 (RIA Novosti) Russia Tuesday criticised Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s speech at the UN conference on racism in Geneva.
“Unfortunately, harsh and unbalanced statements were voiced on the first day of the conference, particularly in the speech of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,” the foreign ministry of Russia said, adding that such statements had nothing to do with the conference’s main topic.

The Geneva conference was boycotted by the US, Israel and a number of European countries, including Germany, over fears that the Iranian leader would launch a verbal attack on Israel.

Ahmadinejad’s subsequent speech, during which he described Israel as a “most cruel and racist regime”, sparked a mass walkout by those Western diplomats who attended the conference.

The Russian ministry also expressed its regret that some states had refused to take part in the conference, while others walked out midway.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon also criticised Ahmadinejad’s speech Monday, calling it an attempt “to accuse, divide and even incite.”

On Tuesday, the UN member states attending the conference adopted a declaration calling for protecting vulnerable people and fighting against racism, discrimination and intolerance.

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