On March 10, 2008, speaking at a state dinner in Paris for visiting Israeli President Shimon Peres, French President Nicolas Sarkozy spoke of the UN’s upcoming Durban II racism conference:
A close eye will also have to be kept on the Durban human rights conference. No one here, President Peres, has forgotten the excesses of 2001, which transformed that conference into an intolerable platform against the State of Israel. I won’t accept any repetition of this in 2009. France, which will hold the European Union presidency in the second half of 2008, will argue for Europe to pull out if its legitimate demands aren’t respected.