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EU opposes boycott of Beijing Olympics
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The European Union's sports ministers and chairs of national Olympics committees said on Monday they strongly oppose a boycott of the Beijing Olympics.

The President of the European Olympic Committees (EOC), Patrick Hickey, said that the EOC was a sports organization which did not interfere in political issues, the Slovenian news agency STA reported.

Hickey made the comment on the sidelines of a one-day informal conference in Brdo pri Kranju in suburban Ljubljana, capital of Slovenia.

Togay Bayatli, a member of the EOC, meanwhile said that political issues should be resolved by the United Nations and other international organizations.

"It is the athletes that lose out in cases of boycotts and other political action," Bayatli said.

"I hope that sport will remain an instrument of inter-cultural dialogue," said Slovenian Education and Sport Minister Milan Zver, who is chairing the conference of top EU sports officials from the 27 member states and Olympic committees.

(Xinhua News Agency March 18, 2008)

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