EU against Olympics boycott

April 19th, 2008 - 6:23 pm ICT by admin  


Brussels, April 19 (IANS) The European Union Saturday voiced its opposition to calls for boycotting the Olympic Games even as it urged Chinese authorities to take more positive steps to address the Tibet situation, EuAsiaNews reported. Slovenian Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel, whose country holds the current presidency of the EU, said: “Slovenia opposed a boycott, since the Olympic Games are the greatest sports event in the world and it would be wrong to link them to political developments.”

The Slovenian EU presidency “did not intend to invite the Dalai Lama to the council meeting in Brussels. However, contacts with him on other levels were not excluded,” noted a statement issued by the EU Presidency.

Earlier, Rupel received Chinese prime minister’s special envoy, Guan Chengyuan, in Ljubljana who handed him a letter detailing the position of China on the latest developments in Tibet and developments in EU member states related to Tibet.

Rupel said it was in the interest of the EU as well as China that both sides find some common ground with regard to the Tibetan issue.

Slovenia and the EU understand the urgency of restoring stability in China, but at the same time believe that Chinese authorities could take more positive steps to address the situation in Tibet, he emphasised.

A positive step would be to allow free access to Tibet and to enable full transparency and a substantive and open dialogue with the Dalai Lama, he noted.

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