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Pelosi asks Bush to boycott Olympics opening ceremony

world Updated: Apr 01, 2008 12:28 IST

AP
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Republican Nancy Pelosi, Democratic speaker of the US House of Representatives says President George W Bush should consider boycotting the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics to oppose China's crackdown on protesters in Tibet.

"I think boycotting the opening ceremony, which really gives respect to the Chinese government, is something that should be kept on the table," Pelosi said in an interview taped for airing on Monday on ABC television.

"I think the president might want to rethink this later, depending on what other heads of state do."

The White House has said Bush would not boycott the Beijing Olympics, which begin August eight, because of the crackdown, arguing that the games are an event that are supposed to be about the athletes, not politics.

Pelosi said she does not think the United States should boycott the games.

"I don't agree with the perception that is out there that the Olympic Games are this great, unifying, human rights-advocating organization. ... It's a sporting event, and it should proceed," she said.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy was the first European leader to suggest a boycott of the opening ceremony to protest China's handling of the unrest in Tibet.

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