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European Parliament passes resolution urging Olympic boycott
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The European Parliament (EP) on Thursday passed a resolution urging European Union (EU) leaders to boycott the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics despite opposition from the international community to attempts to politicize the games.

The resolution urges for "a common EU position with regard to attendance at the Olympic Games opening ceremony with the option of non-attendance in the event" unless the Chinese government resumes talks with the Dalai Lama.

However, the resolution was branded by Member of European Parliament (MEP) Adrian Severin as "hypocritical, short-sighted and irresponsible."

The Romania MEP told a press conference following the vote that the EP had politicized human rights issues by approving the resolution, thus missing the opportunity to exert its influence for the best solution to the Tibet issue.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry has said that there was sufficient evidence to prove that the Lhasa riots were masterminded by the Dalai Lama clique and staged by "Tibet independence" forces in and outside China.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said on Monday that the Chinese government is willing to continue contacts and talks with the Dalai Lama as long as he truly abandons advocating "Tibet independence," stops activities aimed at splitting the motherland and current activities to fan and mastermind violent crimes in Tibet and other regions and to sabotage the upcoming Beijing Olympic Games, and admits the fact that Tibet and Taiwan are both inalienable parts of the Chinese territory.

Meanwhile, a number of governments and senior officials worldwide have warned against linking sports with politics.

The Afghan Foreign Ministry said Thursday that the Olympic Games is an opportunity for making peace and should not be linked with politics.

Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt said Tuesday he did not believe in any boycott of the Beijing Olympics and the world should not mix athletics with politics.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on March 28 that he was opposed to a boycott of the Olympics opening ceremony over the Tibet issue.

President of the Singapore National Olympic Council Teo Chee Hean has also voiced opposition to politicizing the Olympic Games.

(Xinhua News Agency April 11, 2008)

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