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Friday, 7 September, 2001, 14:05 GMT 15:05 UK
Europe 'to apologise for slavery'
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European delegates at the United Nations anti-racism conference in Durban have agreed to apologise for the slave trade, South Africa says.

South Africa's Director of Foreign Affairs, Dr Sipho Pityana, said that European nations among those deemed to have benefited from the slave trade had agreed to offer an apology for slavery "from a moral perspective".

He said this formulation would not imply any legal liability for slavery on those making the apology. He said this would then take away the obligation for reparations.

The US and Europe have held out against demands that they make reparations for the slave trade.

Mr Pityana said there was still no agreement on a text for the Middle East, but one was expected by the end of the afternoon.

The US and Israel walked out of the conference earlier in the week in protest against Arab attempts to adopt a resolution equating Zionism - the political movement supporting the existence of a Jewish state - with racism.

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Sipho Pitayna, Director General, SA Foreign Affairs
"We think that there's a deal there"
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