France to stay at UN racism conference, to sign declaration

France to stay at UN racism conference, to sign declarationParis - France will remain at the UN racism conference in Geneva and plans to sign its concluding declaration, Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said Tuesday.

"Yesterday (Monday) we all left the hall together," Kouchner told Europe 1 radio, referring to the walkout of European ambassadors in reaction to comments by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad about Israel. "But we are not leaving the conference."

France would remain at the meeting because it is "the beginning of a success," Kouchner said. "We have a declaration which contains everything we wanted."

He said the declaration "will change a great deal. Genocide is mentioned, remembrance of the Holocaust, people suffering from AIDS."

Kouchner said the boycott of the conference by the United States because of Ahmadinejad's presence could be a mistake. "One day we must speak with Iran," he said.(dpa)