The call for a boycott of the opening ceremony of Beijing Olympics received chilly response at a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Slovenia on Friday.
Some EU politicians recently threatened to boycott the opening ceremony of Beijing Olympics. As foreign ministers from EU member states kicked off a two-day meeting in Brdo on Friday, the Tibet issue was added to the agenda at the last minute.
While the discussions were scheduled for Saturday, many EU foreign ministers voiced their opposition to politicize the Olympic Games on the first day of the meeting.
"A no to the Olympics in order to relieve our consciences would help neither the people in China nor the sports organizations," German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier told reporters on arrival for the meeting.
"At the moment I am against the kind of boycott debate that is going on in some European member states," he added.
British Foreign Secretary David Miliband told reporters, "We are fully engaged in supporting the Olympics. We want to see it as a success, and I think it is right that the prime minister represents us."
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who will travel to Beijing to attend the opening ceremony on August 8, said in London that Britain would definitely not be boycotting any part of the Beijing games.
Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt doubted the effectiveness of boycotts. "I never thought that boycotts were a particularly effective instrument in foreign affairs," he said.
Among other EU countries, Portugal, Denmark and Cyprus also rejected the call for a boycott.
"We are not for a boycott. We will do everything to create the conditions to have a successful event," Portugal Foreign Minister Luis Amado said.
"The issue of the Olympic Games should remain out of politics. These are two separate issues," Cypriot Foreign Minister Markos Kyprianou said in the capital Nicosia Thursday.
Ahead of Friday's meeting, Slovenian Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel, whose country currently holds the rotating EU presidency, said that the Tibet issue and the Olympic Games should be discussed separately, expressing doubts whether the ministers would find a common position on a boycott.
(Xinhua News Agency March 29, 2008)