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Germany against boycott of Beijing Olympics
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German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Friday that his country is against any attempt to boycott the upcoming Beijing Olympic Games.

"A no to the Olympics... would help neither the people in China nor the sports organizations," Steinmeier said on arrival in Brdo for an informal meeting with his counterparts from other European Union (EU) countries.

"At the moment I am against the kind of boycott debate that is going on in some European member states," he added.

As EU foreign ministers began a two-day meeting in Brdo on Friday, they were scheduled to hold a discussion on the situation in Tibet, with some of them pushing for a boycott of the Beijing Olympics.

Steinmeier said he expects no joint EU position on the boycott from the meeting. "This is not the right moment to talk about a boycott of the Olympics," he said.

The idea of holding the Olympic Games hostage to press China on the Tibet issue was also rejected by Britain, Denmark and Cyprus, among other EU countries.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said in London that Britain will definitely not be boycotting any part of the Beijing Olympics.

Cypriot Foreign Minister Markos Kyprianou, who arrived in Brdo for the informal meeting, also said Thursday that his country opposes calls for a boycott.

"The issue of the Olympic Games should remain out of politics. These are two separate issues," Kyprianou said in Nicosia.

Ten days ago, EU sports ministers strongly opposed a boycott of the Beijing Olympics over the Tibet issue.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang reiterated Thursday that China is bitterly opposed to any foreign country's interference in the Tibet issue since the matter is an internal affair.

Qin called on the EU in particular not to assume double standards on the Tibet issue and not to send any wrong signals to the Dalai clique, accused of being behind the riots in Tibet two weeks ago.

(Xinhua News Agency March 29, 2008)

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