All options open about Olympics boycott: Sarkozy

March 25th, 2008 - 11:22 pm ICT by admin  

Paris, March 25 (DPA) French President Nicolas Sarkozy Tuesday suggested he was prepared to boycott the 2008 Olympic Games because of the Chinese handling of Tibetan protests. “All options (regarding a boycott) are open, but I appeal to the sense of responsibility of the Chinese leaders,” Sarkozy said in the French city of Tarbes.

“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,” he said.

The French president did not make it clear if the boycott would be of the Games themselves or only of the Aug 8 opening ceremony, as called for by the Paris-based media rights group Reporters Without Borders.

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 boycott the opening ceremony of the 2008 Olympic Games if the crisis caused by Tibetan anti-Chinese protests worsens.

Asked if she would attend the Aug 8 festivities, Yade said, “No-one yet knows the makeup of the French delegation (to the Games). All I can say that if the situation deteriorates, I don’t see how I can take part in this sporting event without reacting.”

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