British PM Rejects Olympics Boycott

LONDON – British Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Saturday again ruled out boycotting the Beijing Olympics, despite a warning that French President Nicolas Sarkozy could stay away over Tibet.

“I will attend the Olympics as many others will do,” Brown said after a conference of centre-left international leaders on progressive governance near London.

“The Dalai Lama himself has said that he does not want to see a boycott of the Olympics and that is why I have said as the host country for the 2012 Olympics that is coming up that I will attend.”

Brown urged “restraint” on both sides and said the crisis in Tibet could only be resolved by dialogue.

The British premier has said he will attend the closing ceremony for the Beijing Olympics. The 2012 Olympics — the next summer games after Beijing — will be held in London.

France is demanding that China start talks with the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan leader, and release political prisoners as a condition for Sarkozy to attend the Beijing opening ceremony, a minister said in an interview published Saturday.

– AFP /ls

Channel News Asia

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