Lithuania reserves right to quit UN racism conference

Lithuania reserves right to quit UN racism conferenceVilnius  - Lithuanian Foreign Minister Vygaudas Usackas said Tuesday that his country reserved the right to leave the UN's racism conference in Geneva early if the final declaration proved unacceptable, or even if the atmosphere turned sour.

Speaking during a working visit to Poland, Usackas described a speech delivered Monday by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the conference on racism as unacceptable, provoking and insulting to Israel and the Jewish people.

Iran was attempting to disrupt the international community's efforts in combating racism, Usackas said.

"By continuing our work at the UN conference in Geneva along with other European Union partners we shall seek the conference to assess the implementation of commitments that were made by governments to combat racism and related intolerance," the minister said.

However, according to a statement released by the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry, the Baltic state "reserves the right to leave the conference if its final document will encompass provisions that are not in compliance with established human rights and universal values or if the conference will acquire an atmosphere that does not conform with the values that are followed by Lithuania."

On Monday, Lithuania's representative at the conference, Eduardas Borisovas, walked out of the conference hall with other EU delegates in response to Ahmadinejad's speech.(dpa)