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Czechs, Poland leaders to boycott Olympic opening
ABC NEWS[Friday, March 28, 2008 17:43]
By Europe correspondent Rafael Epstein

Leaders from the Czech Republic and Poland have declined invitations to attend the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Beijing, in protest of recent crackdowns on Tibetan protesters.

Czech President Vaclav Klaus says those who voted to give the Games to China should now not be surprised by the recent trouble.

"China is what it is," he said.

Mr Klaus and some Czech ministers will boycott the ceremony.

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk questioned whether world leaders should attend, given China's conduct.

"The presence of politicians at the Games' inauguration seems inappropriate," he said.

Mr Tusk says he will try to convince other European Union countries that they should speak out more strongly on the issue of Tibet.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who is currently visiting London, repeated that he may also boycott the ceremony.

But British Prime Minister Gordon Brown says he will be attending.
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