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Last Updated: Friday, 19 October 2007, 17:32 GMT 18:32 UK
Belarus president 'anti-Semitic'
Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko
Mr Lukashenko has a reputation for outspoken remarks
The president of Belarus has been called "anti-Semitic" after he reportedly blamed Jews for turning a town into a "pigsty".

President Alexander Lukashenko allegedly made the remarks last week after hearing complaints from residents of the eastern town of Bobruisk.

He added that he had been to Israel and seen that "Jewish people do not take care of where they live".

Israel's foreign minister condemned the remarks as racist.

"Leaders have a duty to fight anti-Semitism, which rears its ugly head in different places in the world, and not encourage it," Tzipi Livni said.

Belarusian Jewish groups have warned of growing anti-Semitism in the country.

They are alarmed at what they call the open publication of anti-Semitic brochures and books, desecration of Jewish cemeteries and closure of the republic's only Jewish university.

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