Germany threatens to walk out of UN General Assembly if Ahmadinejad denies the Holocaust

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A spokesman for the German government has announced plans to walk out of the United Nations General Assembly if Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denies the Holocaust in a speech he is due to give on Wednesday.

The spokesman said, "We will leave the hall if President Ahmadinejad denies the Holocaust or makes anti-Semitic statements ... we are making efforts toward a unified European position," going on to request a "common response" from other European Union member nations. Gabriela Shalev, Israel's ambassador to the UN, also encouraged a boycott of Ahmadinejad's speech.

On Friday, Ahmadinejad gave a speech in which he called the Holocaust "a lie" and a "fairy tale". German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier condemned the remarks, calling Ahmadinejad "a disgrace".

Holocaust denial is a crime in Germany, where the Nazis carried out the Holocaust, a mass persecution and killing of Jews and other minorities, during World War II.