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No Consensus at Racism Conference

September 3, 2001

DURBAN, South Africa (AP) _ Efforts to reach a compromise over attempts to condemn Israel and Zionism at the World Conference Against Racism have failed, Rep. Tom Lantos, a member of the delegation, said Monday.

Lantos, a California Democrat, said he expected the State Department to announce Monday afternoon whether the United States would withdraw its delegation. He said he expected several nations to withdraw their delegations as well.

``All attempts to reach a compromise have failed,″ Lantos said.

Lantos said the American delegation appeared likely to walk out. U.S. delegates had left their desks at the conference Monday afternoon.

``It seems that despite extraordinary efforts by the American government ... it will prove impossible for the American delegation to continue participation in the conference,″ Lantos said, adding that he was speaking as a senior Democrat, and not for the Bush administration.

Norway and Canada were attempting to mediate a compromise between the Arab states and Israel on the conference’s draft declaration. The United States was part of those talks.

Both the U.S. and Israeli delegations had been threatening to leave the conference if the language in the declaration was not changed.

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