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01-04-08, 16:33
European countries consider games boycott
Europe News.Net
Tuesday 25th March, 2008

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has suggested France may boycott the 2008 Olympic Games because of the Chinese handling of Tibetan protests.

Sarkozy has told reporters: “All options are open, but I appeal to the sense of responsibility of the Chinese leaders. I want a dialogue between Chinese authorities and the Dalai Lama to begin and I will graduate my response according to the response of the Chinese authorities”.

On Monday, in a letter to his Chinese counterpart, Hu Jintao, the French president called on Chinese authorities to exhibit restraint in their handling of the Tibetan anti-Chinese protests.

In an interview published Tuesday in the daily Le Figaro, the French junior minister for human rights, Rama Yade, said that she might call for a boycott of the opening ceremony of the 2008 Olympic Games if the crisis caused by Tibetan anti-Chinese protests worsens.

The Paris-based media rights group, Reporters Without Borders, has already called for a boycott for the Aug 8th opening ceremony.

Meanwhile, Germany’s chancellor, Angela Merkel, has called on China to reveal what had actually happened in the recent violence in Tibet.

Chancellor Merkel also declared herself open to a fresh meeting with the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.

Beijing protested angrily when Merkel received the Dalai Lama last year in her Berlin office.

But German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier has repeated Berlin's scepticism towards calls for a boycott of this summer's Beijing Olympic Games.

He said calls for a boycott tended to distract from the need to move towards a political solution to the conflict.

http://www.europenews.net/story/341307