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NEW YORK - Arab states at the UN are trying to foil a proposal to raise a vote condemning anti-Semitism in the General Assembly this September.

At a closed meeting held recently in New York, UN ambassadors from Arab and EU countries met and the Arabs made clear that they do not accept the initiative for the UN General Assembly to condemn anti-Semitism.

The blunt language used by the Arabs describing their opposition, and their plans to use diplomatic means to prevent the resolution from reaching a vote, shocked the Europeans, said a UN source.

According to UN sources, the Arab delegates were also critical of a UN seminar on anti-Semitism held last month. A senior Western diplomat said that among the Arabs who spoke with the Europeans was PLO observer Nasser al Kidwe attacked the content of UN Secretary general Koffi Annan's speech to the seminar last month, particularly Annan's pride in the cancelation of the 1975 Zionism equals racism resolution.